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Case Study

CO2Sense finance community acquisition of 5MW solar project

In 2015 CO2Sense invested £450,000 to enable Mongoose Energy to progress a 5MW solar pv array under its innovative community ownership model. The project is located in Chelwood, near Bristol. The array is estimated to generate 4,844MWh of electricity annually, providing 1,160 homes with renewable energy. The project is also expected to provide £1.2 million of community benefit over a 25 year period.

Using a unique financial model, the £450,000 invested by CO2Sense was used by Mongoose Energy to acquire the project from a commercial developer prior to it being constructed. Mongoose Energy steered the project through to financial close via a community share offer with the aid of Triodos Corporate finance. The shareoffer raised £2.75 million, and was used to repay the acquisition loan from CO2Sense. The project was built out and transferred into the ownership of Chelwood Community Energy, a local Community Benefit Society. This arrangement allowed the community investors to bypass the high risk development phase, but still benefit significantly from owning a local income generating asset.

The CO2Sense acquisition loan addresses the growing demand for community ownership of renewable energy. The loan allows community organisations to buy into consented or operational schemes, repaying the investment via a share offer, bond offer or bank loan. CO2Sense are keen to work with both commercial developers and community organisations on similar projects. If you are working on a shared ownership project or are interested in acquiring a project then please contact us.

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