Heart of England Community Energy is a community interest company set up to acquire three operating solar farms, put them in community ownership and to support local initiatives in South Warwickshire.
Working with Mongoose Energy, SASC has provided £6.2m of junior capital to fund the acquisition of three operating solar farms from a commercial developer of what is the UK’s biggest community energy project by generating capacity.
The solar farms located at the Drayton Manor farm will generate electricity for the community of Warwickshire from renewable sources, enabling the value of the energy economy to being retained locally. The 14.7 MW solar farms are spread over 75 acres and feature co-located battery storage. By buying out existing solar assets on behalf of the community from a commercial developer and enabling community ownership, the project helps local people to take a stake in their local energy infrastructure and benefit from future profits from the project.
SASC has provided a total of £6.2m of junior debt from both CIF and TSIF to support the acquisition and operation of the solar farms alongside existing senior loans. Mongoose Energy will raise a series of community share and bond capital to repay the SASC facilities starting in 2017 through their proprietary crowdfunding platform Mongoose Crowd.
The solar farms will produce enough electricity to power 4,500 homes and save tonnes of CO2 emissions relative to other power sources for the same power generation. The community will benefit from £4.8m in surplus payments which will be targeted at a range of local issues from fuel poverty to tackling local deprivation based on the decisions of a panel made up of local stakeholders.