Resilient Energy Alvington Court Renewables (REACR) is a Community Benefit Society (CBS) that owns and operates a 500kW wind turbine near Alvington, in the Forest of Dean. The Society directs a share of operational turnover and any surpluses generated by the project towards supporting local community resilience initiatives, including fuel poverty.
REACR is one of several projects founded and managed by The Resilience Centre (TRC), a Forest of Dean based social purpose business building resilience in society in response to climate change and diminishing resources.
In March 2019, REACR acquired Resilient Energy Great Dunkilns (REGD), another TRC-managed project, in a transaction that will enhance community benefit over the life of the projects.
REGD was TRC’s first renewable energy project, which developed a 500kW wind turbine near St Briavels, Forest of Dean, in late 2012. The project was the UK’s first crowd-funded wind turbine, which gave ordinary people the opportunity to invest in the project via debentures issued through the Abundance platform. In order to achieve this, however, the project was required to become a public limited company (plc); this resulted in a number of additional administrative costs for the project.
The REGD shareholders realised that restructuring as a CBS would be more appropriate, and a combination with nearby Society REACR would be the optimal way to achieve this.
In March 2019, following specialist advice on due diligence and confirmation of a loan facility from SASC, REACR acquired REGD, issuing REACR shares to the REGD shareholders according to an independent valuation. The SASC loan of £1.4m enabled the redemption of the debentures, removing the plc structure requirement, and allowing REGD to be restructured as a wholly owned subsidiary of the CBS.
The restructuring will increase community investor participation in the combined projects. The resulting capital structure will be more cost efficient, strengthening the society’s financial position. This will generate increased surpluses for broader resilience initiatives in the Forest of Dean, increasing the positive social impact achieved over the life of the two turbines.