Investment platform Abundance has launched what it is claiming to be Europe’s largest crowdfunded solar project.
The project, Oakapple Berwickshire, is looking to install up to 749 roof-mounted solar arrays totalling 2.59MW of capacity across Berwickshire Housing Association homes. The project, developed by Oakapple Renewable Energy and Edison Energy, is seeking to raise as much as £3.1 million – the most Abundance has ever attempted to raise.
Those tenants who receive a solar array as part of the project will be able to benefit from unlimited use of the electricity, which could result in annual energy bill savings of as much as 30%.
Commenting on the project, Helen Forsyth, chief executive of the Berwickshire Housing Association said: “Our tenants living in these solar-powered homes will enjoy a substantial drop in their energy bills, up to as much as a 30% reduction potentially saving over £100 per home a year, without having to pay anything towards the project. We’re determined to do what we can to address fuel poverty and working with Abundance investors is a fantastic way to tackle the problem.”
Members of the public will be able to invest in the project with a minimum investment of £5. Abundance said that those who invest will benefit from an effective rate of return of 7.5% over the project’s 20-year term.
Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint managing director of Abundance, said that recent research has revealed 57% of Brits want to invest in projects that “give a decent return but don’t harm the planet”. David continued: “This project is offering more than £3 million of exactly that opportunity and once taken up will see the total amount invested through Abundance pass the £11 million mark.”
The government recently published its shared ownership taskforce report which outlines a voluntary framework for community groups in the UK to be offered the right to invest in new, local renewable energy projects.