Ecotricity secures £70m growth fund

Green-energy supplier Ecotricity has secured £70m through a refinancing deal with Aviva Investors, which it says will allow it to almost double its energy-generating capacity.

The agreement – underpinned by Ecotricity’s existing 60MW estate – will help fund a 40MW growth over the next 18 months, according to founder Dale Vince.

He said: “Harnessing our customers bills and turning them into windmills got Ecotricity to where it is today – that ‘bills into mills’ model has worked well for us over the last 20 years.

“This investment from Aviva is an evolution of that Ecotricity model – freeing up value from our own windmills – in effect we’re turning ‘mills into mills’.”

Ecotricity already has planning consent for 20MW of wind and solar spread across six sites, which they have already started building.

Elizabeth Lutley from the infrastructure team at Aviva Investors added: “We are delighted to have worked with Ecotricity on this portfolio financing, building on our track record of bringing long tenor institutional money to the renewable sector.”

Vote red go green

Ecotricity made headlines in Februry when Dale Vince announced he would be donating £250,000 to the Labour election campaign.

He said at the time: “We’re putting our money where our heart is – we’ve watched the coalition government systematically undermine not just the renewable energy industry in Britain but the whole green economy. We feel compelled to act and to speak out.”

By contrast, Ed Davey claimed last week that coalition policies had brought a UK low carbon econonomy ‘within reach’.

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