Opening bell for Europe’s largest crowd-funded solar project

Ethical investment platform Abundance is offering businesses and individuals the opportunity to invest in what would be Europe's largest crowd-funded solar project to date.

The Oakapple Berwickshire project, developed by Oakapple Renewable Energy and Edison Energy, is seeking £3.1m to install 749 solar PV panels on social housing across Berwickshire; which would become operational next April.

Local housing association tenants will enjoy a substantial drop in their energy bills – up to 30% – without having to pay anything towards the project, while investors will enjoy an annual return of 7% over the 20 year scheme, thanks to government subsidies.

This is the second such project from Oakapple Renewable Energy, which also raised £480,000 for a residential rooftop solar scheme in Leeds earlier this year

Bank-beating, planet-saving

Abundance cofounder and joint MD Bruce Davis said: “This is a perfect opportunity for savers with more than £1 trillion earning virtually nothing in cash savings accounts to move some of their money to something far more worthwhile and good for the UK, while getting an attractive, bank-beating return at low risk”.

“Recent research revealed that 62% of people in Britain want to choose exactly where their money is going to get a return and 57% want to invest in things that give a decent return but don’t harm the planet. This latest project is offering more than £3m of exactly that opportunity and once taken up will see the total amount invested through Abundance pass the £11m mark.”

Voluntary Agreement

This type of ‘win-win’ deal is something that the Government is keen to push going forward. Last week the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) published a new Voluntary Agreement to encourage more local ownership of and investment into large-scale solar farms.

The Agreement will offer better local ownership and investment options to communities, including direct bond offers and partnerships with local authorities.

Brad Allen

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