Abundance offers Europe’s largest crowdfunded solar energy project paying an effective return of 7.5% while slashing energy costs for Housing Association tenants
Abundance, the UK’s largest ethical investment platform, launched its latest and largest crowdfunding project for investors who want positive and ecological returns, investing their money will thereby benefit the real economy and the environment. The latest project is Europe’s largest crowdfunded solar energy project to date, according to Abundance. The Oakapple Berwickshire project is being developed by Oakapple Renewable Energy and Edison Energy and will involve up to 749 roof mounted solar PV systems with a total capacity of 2,595 kW. The homes are located throughout Berwickshire, including Duns, Eyemouth and Coldstream. Oakapple Berwickshire will be the largest project offered through Abundance, seeking to raise up to £3.1 million. This is the second project offered on Abundance by Oakapple Renewable Energy, following their successful £480,000 raise for Oakapple One last year.
Co-Founder and joint MD of Abundance Bruce Davis stated, “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.”
Investors in Oakapple Berwickshire with £5 to invest will enjoy an effective rate of return of 7.5% over the project’s 20 year term with the option to sell their holding at any time on the Abundance bulletin board (where to date all sales have been at par or better). As an additional feature to encourage early take up, investors will earn 7% initial interest from the date they invest to 1 April 2015 when the solar panels are fully operational. Interest is payable monthly in arrears, and first payments are made after the minimum £500,000 investment threshold is reached. From 1 April 2015 investors will be paid their capital and interest return for 20 years, giving a 7.5% internal rate of return (IRR).
The campaign indicated that Berwickshire Housing Association tenants living in the homes on which the solar panels are installed will note a substantial drop in their energy bills – up to as much as a 30% reduction – without having to pay anything towards the project.
Chief Executive of the Berwickshire Housing Association Helen Forsyth shared, “Our tenants living in these solar powered homes will enjoy a substantial drop in their energy bills, up to as much as a 30% reduction potentially saving over £100 per home a year, without having to pay anything towards the project. We’re determined to do what we can to address fuel poverty and working with Abundance investors is a fantastic way to tackle the problem.”
Investment in projects offered by Abundance is made through the purchase of Debentures – official IOUs that commit to pay returns on top of the original capital. Returns will be paid in single or twice yearly payments over the term of the project (depending on the project), although investors wishing to cash in early can sell their holdings on to others via the Abundance website. As expected, capital is at risk and returns are variable. Investments are long term and not readily realizable.
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