Orchard Community Energy - OFFER CLOSED

What they do

Please note that this information is no longer updated and is for reference purposes only.

Orchard Community Energy was established in 2015 to develop community-owned renewable energy, low carbon and energy-efficiency projects in North Kent and Medway.

The project

This bond offer will support Orchard Community Energy's project – a newly-operational 5 MW solar array at Orchard Farm near Iwade, Kent. As a community-owned asset, it should provide valuable income that can be reinvested in the local community.

The project has been developed and constructed by an experienced international solar developer, OPDE and has already started generating electricity under the Feed in Tariff (FiT), a government incentive, which is linked to the rate of inflation, that provides financial support to the project for a period of 20 years.

Shares in Orchard Community Energy have already been issued to encourage and support local ownership, raising £522,000. Using this and debt provided by Triodos Bank, Orchard Community Energy successfully took ownership of the project on 16 June 2016.

The proceeds of this bond offer will be used to contribute to repayment of the outstanding balance owed to the project developer.

The bond will expire on 31 October 2019 and will pay interest of 5.5% a year. Interest will be paid annually. There will also be the option for you to extend your bond beyond the initial term at 5%. The offer is fully underwritten which means there is no minimum fundraising target that the bond needs to reach.

About Orchard Community Energy

Orchard Community Energy was established in 2015 to develop community-owned renewable energy, low carbon and energy-efficiency projects in North Kent and Medway. It is led by a highly committed board with a depth of experience in renewable energy, finance, sustainability, community projects, and they all live in Kent.

As a Community Benefit Society they are bound to act for the benefit of the community.

The purchase of the project meant that they acquired all the shares in Orchard Farm Community Solar Community Interest Company (CIC), which owns the assets and contracts required to operate the solar farm and is the immediate recipient of the revenue generated by the project. Orchard Farm Community Solar CIC has therefore become a wholly owned subsidiary. This means that Orchard Community Energy now owns the Orchard Farm Solar Array and has a 26-year lease agreement with the landowner.

Orchard Community Energy is working with Mongoose Energy on this bond offer. Mongoose supports several other community benefit societies to develop and own renewable energy projects and is over 50% owned by the organisations it supports.

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