Triodos Bank has launched an £850,000 community solar bond offer for a solar power farm in Chichester, West Sussex.
Ferry Farm Solar was built in 2016 and has 18,700 solar panels which generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 1,500 homes.
The solar farm was constructed as a commercial enterprise but was brought into full community ownership by Ferry Farm Community Benefit Society in March 2020.
Ferry Farm has secured a long-term loan from Triodos, which has helped to refinance the majority of the existing bridging loan.
The crowdfunding bond will now help to repay the remainder of this loan and secure the long-term finance arrangements needed.
As well as providing renewable energy to the local area, any surplus income from the solar farm has gone back into the community to help fund various projects and organisations.
So far, £135,000 has gone back into the local community, this has helped to supply laptops to local schools in the area and has also helped to fund the work of the local food bank for a whole year.
Jake Burnyeat, director of communities for Renewables CIC, said: ‘After being involved in a number of successful bond launches with Triodos we’re delighted to be offering this exciting offer to investors.
‘As well as its importance in renewable energy generation, which contributes to the UK’s transition to green energy, the project has been a lifeline to its community during the Covid pandemic. It keeps delivering positive impact time and time again and the crowdfunding capital will bolster its financial resilience as well as its ability to support the community even further.’
Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank UK, added: ‘Community energy projects play a vital role in the UK renewable energy sector, providing community empowerment and outstanding support to their communities in times of need.
‘The ability they have to rapidly mobilise funds and help local people is fantastic. Our investors want to support initiatives that deliver a positive impact to the planet, its people and communities and this project achieve all three of these.’
Photo Credit – Triodos