Mongoose Energy eyeing supply business launch after install rush

Community energy group Mongoose Energy is preparing for the launch of a supply business late next year following the rush of community projects it is helping to get developed.

The company has been active in recent weeks, bringing forward five fundraising programmes for community energy schemes in the wake of the Treasury’s decision to make such projects exempt from receiving EIS and SEIS tax relief.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Mongoose Energy chief executive Jan Willem Bode said that this had caused the company to “step up a notch or two”. It ended up raising £4.9 million in three weeks, which will help several projects move forward.

Despite the significant amount raised, Bode said that the company still had “a lot of work to do fundraising in the next few months” owing to a “massive increase” in the number of projects Mongoose is looking at or working on.

Due to the RO consultation and the subsequent rush to have 5MW sites eligible for the RO grace period developed, there is a substantial pipeline of ground-mounted solar farms coming out of development. Bode said that this has resulted in Mongoose being offered a large number of sites, but that he expected this to slow before the end of June as assets are snapped up.

This rush of sites will contribute towards Mongoose – which is part-owned by the communities in which it invests – launching and operating an energy supply business. Rather than Ofgem’s ‘Licence Lite’ route, Mongoose has obtained a full electricity supply licence from the regulator and aims to fully launch in the second half of 2016.

Bode said Mongoose was “totally in preparation mode” for the launch, and was “speaking to a lot of people in the market at the moment” regarding it.

Since Ofgem opened its licensing regime to a much larger group of companies various asset holders and local authorities with renewable energy interests have explored possible diversification into supply.

Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy is perhaps the most notable example however Octopus, solar PV asset holder and financial partner of development company Lightsource, also hold a supply licence according to Ofgem’s register.