Abundance Investment (formerly AbundanceGeneration) has been partnering with Swindon Chapel Farm Solar since early last month to offer individuals a way to invest in renewable energy. The Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) option also offers folks looking for an alternative savings account an option to earn higher interest rates.
The Swindon Advertiser reported that the offering rapidly raised £700,000 (approximately $879K) of investment in its first four days. As of mid-December, with about a month and a half left in the fundraising, the Swindon Chapel Farm Solar has raised 82 percent of its goal, or about £2,025,000 (approximately $2.5 million). There is still a remaining £429,919 up for grabs (approximately $540K).
The internal rate of return (IRR) is six percent, which is higher than the two percent interest that Abundance was offering earlier in April for its IFISA plan before the rule changes.
Described as an “ethical investment platform”, Abundance is offering investors a piece of Swindon Chapel Farm Solar until January 20, 2017 in the UK’s “first green IFISA”.
The Guardian has described the Abundance-Swindon partnership as such;
“It is the result of a link-up between ethical investment platform Abundance and Swindon borough council, and will allow the public to invest directly in renewable energy projects, tax free. Those behind the scheme are holding out the prospect of a 6% return.”
This is the second Abundance-Swindon partnership. Abundance also partnered earlier this year with Swindon on the Common Farm Solar project. The Chapel Farm Solar project is the first IFISA offer on the Abundance platform though.
As with all investments, there are risks. The Abundance-Swindon partnership, however, has garnered praise from a few government officials. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid said;
“This is an excellent example of a local council working with the private sector to provide people with a means of investing in their local community and its infrastructure. I wish it every success.”
Councillor on the Swindon Borough Council Dale Heenan also said;
“I am proud Swindon is the home of the UK’s first green energy Isa following our very successful solar bond earlier this year.”
Prior to its Innovative Finance ISA offer approval earlier this year, one of the last projects that Abundance Investment offered to investors was Anesco, a “mixed technology” project also focused on renewable energy. Abundance’s list of funded projects can be found here.
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