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CO2Sense fast-track community Solar

June 29th, 2015 | 7:55 am

CO2Sense is pleased to announce its latest investment of £450,000, to enable Mongoose Energy to progress a 5MW solar project under its innovative community ownership model.

The project, which is located in Chelwood, near Bristol, is designed to generate over 4,800MWh of electricity per year, enough to power 1,160 average homes and save 2,585 tonnes of CO2 annually, or the equivalent of the average passenger flying around the world 300 times. In addition, the project will aim to pay over £1 million of community benefit over its lifetime.

Using a unique financial model, funds from CO2Sense have been used by Mongoose Energy to acquire the project from a commercial developer prior to it being constructed. Mongoose Energy will now steer the project through to financial close via a community share offer with the aid of Triodos Corporate Finance. The shareoffer is planned to raise £2.75 million, and once complete, the acquisition loan from CO2Sense will be repaid. The project will then be built out and transferred into the ownership of Chelwood Community Energy; a local Community Benefit Society. This arrangement will allow the community investors to bypass the high risk development phase but still benefit significantly from owning a local income generating asset.

Mongoose Energy plans to continue to repeat this development model, taking forward their mission of retaining economic ownership of renewable energy projects at a local level, on a national scale.

Welcoming the investment, Jan-Willem Bode, Managing Director of Mongoose Energy commented:

“The investment from CO2Sense has enabled us to move a large scale project in to community ownership without exposing ourselves to the risks and timescales associated with developing a project from scratch. We have found CO2Sense’s flexibility and knowledge of the renewable energy sector essential and amongst the best in the industry.”

Jemma Benson, CO2Sense Chief Operating Officer commented:

“CO2Sense acquisition loans can play a significant role in helping communities to access renewable energy projects that are lower risk. We are keen to make more acquisition loans, working with those developing low carbon projects which retain economic ownership at the local level.”

Head of Triodos Corporate Finance, Dan Hird commented:

“We are proud to be able to use our experience in raising capital to help the Chelwood community benefit society which will allow the village to finance long awaited community projects.”

The CO2Sense acquisition loan has been designed to address the growing demand for community ownership of renewable energy. The loan allows community organisations the opportunity to buy into pre-consent, consented or operational schemes, repaying the debt via a community share offer, crowdfunding or bank loan.

CO2Sense are keen to work with both commercial developers and community organisations to ensure similar projects can be developed. To find out more about the community acquisition loan or to discuss a project, please contact Kulraj Heer on 0113 247 3848 or e-mail kulraj.heer@co2sense.co.uk

ENDS
Notes to editor
CO2Sense is a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) which manages an ethical investment fund dedicated to renewable energy projects. Profits from our investments are recycled back into the fund to further invest in renewable energy projects or used to promote our community objectives.

Finance is provided UK wide to both commercial developers and community energy groups for projects between 200kW and 5MW in scale. Technologies covered include wind, hydro, biomass CHP, solar and anaerobic digestion.

CO2Sense funding fills a gap in the finance market for renewable energy by providing:

• Development finance to fund works required to reach planning consent

• Bridging loans to cover costs between planning permission and construction

• Acquisition loans to acquire consented and shovel ready project

• Short term construction finance

For examples of our work, please visit http://www.co2sense.co.uk/case-studies

Mongoose Energy is a co-operative set up to work with local groups to bring renewable energy assets into community ownership. More details can be found at www.mongooseenergy.coop

More details of the Chelwood share offer can be found at www.chelwood.org

For further information, please contact:

Kulraj Heer
0113 247 3848
07545 422 450

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