Locals soak up the sun at their 36,000 panel Community Solar Farm
Last Thursday, local people came together for a walking tour around Burnham and Weston Energy CIC’s 36,000 panel community solar array at Wick Farm, Somerset.
It was great to see such a wide range of people and organisations turn up. The tour began with tea and coffee and some brief talks about Burnham and Weston Energy CIC’s community purpose, how the solar farm works, and the solar bond offer which is currently 87% towards reaching its £4million target. David Tratt, the landowner, gave a talk about the journey they have been on to end up hosting one of the largest community solar farms in the UK. We then took a walk around the perimeter of one of the solar fields. Despite an early start, the day was already heating up. The heat wave has scorched the grass yellow but its been a great couple of months for solar generation!
The solar bond offer has raised nearly £3.5million since it launched on 28th June, and the first £50,000 will be allocated to fund Burnham and Weston Energy CIC’s community grant fund and energy and fuel poverty advice service when the £4million target is reached.
The 5% inflation linked bonds are available on the Triodos Crowdfunding website. The initial investment will be repaid in instalments over 18 years. As with similar community energy investments, interest payments are not guaranteed and capital is at risk. The bonds are eligible to be held in a Triodos Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) which allows investors to earn interest tax-free. Be aware that IFISAs have eligibility criteria and any tax savings depend on personal financial circumstances.
Investments can be made from £200; roughly equivalent to 2 of the community solar farm’s 36,000 panels! Each bondholder will also be given a single share in Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, enabling them to take part in AGM decisions on a ‘1-member 1-vote’ basis.
You can visit the Triodos Crowdfunding website to read the bond offer document and find out more.
An investment in Burnham and Weston Energy CIC bonds is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Burnham and Weston Energy’s ability to pay the interest and repay the bonds is not guaranteed and is dependent on the continued success of its business model. These bonds are unquoted securities with a fixed repayment date and although the bonds are transferable, investors should be aware that they may not be able to access their capital during the life of the bond.