Bristol Energy Cooperative hopes to boost its solar output by 1MW. Image: Bristol Energy Cooperative.
Bristol Energy Cooperative hopes to boost its solar output by 1MW. Image: Bristol Energy Cooperative.

Community-owned energy infrastructure received a boost today (15 May) through a new share offer launched by Bristol Energy Cooperative and Triodos Bank UK.

While this is Bristol Energy Cooperative’s tenth finance raise, it is the first time the organisation has partnered with Triodos Bank. Bristol Energy Cooperative hopes to leverage everyday investors’ increased interest in green energy and community energy independence to raise £1 million.

This will be used to bring an additional 1MW of solar energy to the cooperative’s portfolio, powering almost 300 homes over the next 25 years and directing around £130,000 into community projects through revenue.

Established in 2011, Bristol Energy Cooperative works to build community-owned clean energy infrastructure.

Since its inception, the organisation has brought 20 solar and battery energy storage projects online, bringing 12MW of energy capacity at peak to the grid. In recent years, the community organisation has developed several major projects, including installing rooftop solar panels on the recently refurbished Bristol Beacon venue.

The target interest rate for the share offer is 6% each year; the actual rate paid will vary based on Bristol Energy Cooperative’s performance.

CEO of Bristol Energy Cooperative, Helen Martin, said: “We’ve come a long way since launching Bristol Energy Cooperative, and in that time the need for a cleaner, fairer energy system has only increased. That’s why we’ve got big plans to scale up our work to help meet the many challenges our society faces head on, and we need investors’ help to achieve these ambitions.

“Our investors will be actively helping to tackle the climate emergency, increase energy independence and strengthen local communities.”  

Whitni Thomas, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank UK, added: “We’ve been a proud supporter of community energy for many years, and are pleased to be working with Bristol Energy Cooperative as such an innovative organisation in this area.   

“We find that the investors using our crowdfunding platform really ‘get’ the purpose and drive behind community-owned renewables, so we expect that they’ll be plenty of interest in support for this share offer.” 

This article first appeared on our sister publication Current±.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 4-5 June 2024 in London. The event will explore UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market, and much more. For more information, go to the website.