Even through the pandemic, renewable energy projects
supported by Triodos crowdfunding have continued to excel. Burnham and
Weston Energy CIC and Coigach Community CIC have both recently made capital
repayments to bondholders alongside supporting their local communities.
Burnham and Weston Energy CIC is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that owns and operates a community solar farm at Wick Farm, between Burnham-on-Sea and Weston-super-Mare. The 9.3MW solar array is made up of around 36,000 solar panels which generate electricity for the equivalent of over 2,000 homes.
Surplus income generated by the solar farm (after operating and finance costs including payments to bondholders) is used to support community projects in the local area. In the year ended 30 June 2020, £50,000 was allocated to community benefit funds.
The solar farm also outperformed its energy forecast between July 2019 to June 2020, which enabled Burnham & Weston to repay more capital than was originally scheduled and they returned £200,000 to bondholders on 31 March 2021.
Coigach Community CIC is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company which owns and operates a grid-connected 500kW wind turbine. Coigach is a small and tight knit community with just 270 inhabitants in the north-west Highlands of Scotland.
The company installed the wind turbine with the intention of generating funds to help overcome the increasingly fragile local economy, with a view to developing it more sustainably in order to provide opportunities, attract residents and maintain the way of life.
The focus for the last 12 months has been on supporting community resilience, including ensuring hand gel, masks and shopping deliveries were available to those who needed them. Small grants have been made to families who have struggled with loss of income due to the pandemic.
During the last financial year to 31 March 2021, the wind turbine generated 1,697MWh of electricity. Coigach Community CIC made its first capital repayment of £100,000 to its bondholders as scheduled on 31 March 2021 and £80,000 was gift aided to the Coigach Community Development Company the parent charity who oversees the distribution of the community benefit funds.