GIB will partner with global investment firm KKR – each will provide £100m – and specialist investment manager Temporis Capital LLP, which will manage the lending programme.

In May 2014 GIB gained approval from the European Commission to incorporate community-scale renewables into its investment directive in response to a funding gap in the market.

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “Many well-structured community-scale projects have not been able to get off the ground because of a lack of long-term finance in the market.

“These small-scale projects can make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s green economy and I am pleased that we, along with our partners KKR and Temporis Capital, will be able to provide this funding to projects which might otherwise have been locked out of the market.”

Renewables investment

KKR has invested in renewable energy across the world and today’s announcement marking the company’s first investment in the UK clean energy sector.

KKR co-head of credit Nat Zilkha said: “The investment builds on KKR’s view that renewable power is a critical part of the energy mix and that non-bank lending can provide capital to projects with clear tangible benefits for local communities.”

In response to the announcement, Friends of the Earth senior economics campaigner David Powell said: “We want to see millions of people having a stake in clean energy right across the UK, so it’s great that this new fund from the Green Investment Bank is up and running.

“Renewable energy is here to stay and the more locally-owned energy projects there are, the more people will get the rewards rather than the massive energy companies. Renewable energy is popular and all the more so when we can all own and benefit from it – this new fund will help give local projects a leg-up.

“The only sore point is that this money isn’t available to solar projects, to help homes, businesses and schools run on sun – the Bank is missing a trick.”

This latest investment follows a spate of GIB renewable energy funding including: £5m in July for the Balmenach distillery in Speyside to support the installation of a new biomass boiler and £6.5m for two on-farm anaerobic digestion plants in Northern Ireland; and £5.2m last month for a project to deliver efficient electricity and cooling in a UK data centre in Lewisham.

Last month David Cameron praised the positive impact of the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), which has so far ploughed more than £5bn worth of investment in 37 green energy investment projects across the country since its inception two years ago.

Lois Vallely

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