CfR completes purchase and financing of UK’s largest community solar project

CfR completes the purchase and financing of UK’s largest community solar project

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Communities for Renewables is proud to announce the completion of the purchase and financing of the UK’s largest community solar project. The 9.3MWp Wick Farm project is is located between Weston-super-Mare and Burnham on Sea and was commissioned in June 2016. The purchase from EPC contractor Gamma Energy was funded through a loan from Leapfrog Finance. CfR will run the solar farm as a community project for the benefit of the local community and over the next 6 months will be looking to involve local organisations in the project and launch a community investment offer.

  • UK’s largest community solar facility at 9.3MW
  • Project has the potential to generate at least £1.2 million of income for local community organisations and projects over its 25 year lifetime
  • Community investment opportunity to be launched next year

Lux Nova Partners and Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants acted for Leapfrog Finance. Foot Anstey and Francis Clarke acted for Communities for Renewables.

Richard O’Rourke, Managing Director of Leapfrog Finance said “We’re delighted to have been able to support CfR’s acquisition of this project. It is yet another example of Leapfrog’s commitment to not only enabling community ownership, but maximising social impact. Forecast to deliver over £1.2m of community income over the life of the project, it has enormous potential to catalyse the delivery of social impact across a wide spectrum of issues in the community.”

Tom Cosgrove, Development Manager at Communities for Renewables CIC, said: “It’s great to be involved in securing another significant scale solar project into community ownership. CfR has managed the finance and delivery of almost £25million of community solar projects over the last 18 months. Each project involves a huge amount of work from all involved. We are looking forward to working with local organisations to develop the community model for the project and launching the community investment offer early next year.”

Cesar Gonzalez, CEO of Gamma Energy, said: “It’s a real pleasure to see Gamma’s commitment to renewable energy benefitting the local community. This project has been a big challenge for all the parties involved and finally a great success. Gamma was involved in all aspects of this project, from development through to financing and construction, and continues to provide operation and maintenance services.”

Candice Motran, Investment Director at Big Society Capital, said: “I am thrilled to see another project receive finance through our facility with Leapfrog Finance. The goal we had in making the facility available was to make it easier for communities to acquire large renewable energy assets which had the potential to deliver significant sums to local projects delivering impact in communities. This project will deliver on those goals, making it a great success for Leapfrog Finance, Communities for Renewables and the local communities between Weston-Super-Mare and Burnham on Sea.”

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