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Abundance raise first 300k for wind turbines, launch solar investment opportunity

By Linden Volsun - 06 Aug 2012 9:28:40 GMT
Abundance raise first 300k for wind turbines, launch solar investment opportunity

Wind Turbine and Solar Panel Image; Credit: © Shutterstock

The initial £300,000 investment target in a new UK wind turbine development has been raised in under four weeks.

The money has been raised through the new Abundance 'democratic finance' scheme that allows people to invest as little as £5 and claims to provide annual estimated interest of 6.75-8%.

The first development phase for the 500kW wind turbine development in the Forest of Dean will now go ahead. The Abundance Generation is still aiming to raise another £1.1million by the end of October to pay a bridging loan for the Great Dunkilns Farm scheme.

Joint Managing Director and Co-Founder, Bruce Davies, who was also behind Zopa, the first peer-to-peer lending scheme, says "The £300k mark is significant because the project is now fully funded and construction work can proceed at full speed. The first tranche of debenture certificates have been issued. The debenture offer will remain open into the autumn or until £1.4m is reached. After that, any remaining bridging finance will convert into debentures.

"Using the debenture structure to create a public offer is a first for the UK and the world as a whole. It's interesting how many countries are watching to see if this is a success and whether it is something they could adopt for themselves in the future."

Abundance' first project is being run in conjunction with Resilient Energy Great Dunkilns (REGD) plc. Work is already taking place on the site and the foundations are expected to be finished over the next few weeks. The turbine tower and blades are planned to be erected at the end of August.4.

Clients aged 22-80 have invested amounts of £5 to £50,000 in the project, says the company.

Abundance Generation, which is regulated by the Financial Services Authority, aims to attract small investors to fund UK renewable energy projects.

Abundance hopes to raise £250 million of funds within its first five years and has just launched its second scheme to generate free renewable electricity for 450 homes. This second renewable energy investment opportunity offers debentures to investors which offer 6 monthly cash returns for 20 years. The funds raised from the sale of debentures will fund solar panel installation, which will be used to provide free electricity for homes in the South Downs region.

The investment returns come through benefits from the amount of electricity generated using schemes like the Government's feed-in tariff.

Abundance Generation was co-founded by green energy specialist Karl Harder and equity capital markets expert Louise Wilson.

In other parts of Europe, community ownership of renewable energy schemes is much more common, with 86% of wind energy projects in Denmark and half in Germany being owned by locals, which has played a key part in the growth of green energy development.

REGD is a partnership between The Resilience Centre and Anthony Cooke. Andrew Clarke, the Director of the Resilience Centre, and Anthony Cooke are Foresters and pioneers of local renewable energy generation.

Anthony owns Great Dunkilns Farm and environmental, energy and strategy consultants Andrew and Sue Clarke founded the Resilience Centre.

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Topics: Wind Energy / Solar Energy