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Thrive Renewables plc (formerly Triodos Renewables plc)

Social performance

up to 31st December 2017

Thrive measures the environmental and social impact of its renewable energy projects alongside financial performance. As well as knowing their investment is good for the environment and helping to support communities close to their sites, Thrive investors, and their families, can engage and be part of this impact. The Thrive website now includes an impact calculator so investors can quickly see the environmental impact of their shareholding.

In 2017, generation was equivalent to satisfying the electricity demand of 41,166 UK homes†.

Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

KSPI 1 - Environmental Impact

During 2017, The Thrive renewable energy portfolio generated 160,549MWh. The total invested portfolio (ie. including projects owned, part owned or have helped fund) generated 226,335MWh. This is equal to avoiding the emissions of approximately 79,570 tonnes of CO2e from the total invested portfolio. This translates to 14.3 tonnes of CO2e saving per year per average shareholder (based on 3,940 shares). The UK national average of CO2e emissions generated per person is 7.1 tonnes.

KSPI 2 - Educational Impact

Thrive Wind Farm Open Day

Thrive Renewables believes it is essential to engage with communities around project sites, helping groups and individuals to learn more about renewable energy and the sites they live close to.

During 2017 Thrive participated in Bristol's city-wide Open Doors Day event. The family-oriented event proved as popular as ever with the free tickets once again being fully allocated in a matter of weeks and around 250 visitors on the day, including a number of Thrive's investors. Thrive's open days are aimed at families with fun, educational activities ranging from The Wind Farm Game (@WindFarmGame) and ExplorerDome (@ExplorerDome) to face painting, wind farm crazy golf and local organic ice cream and refreshments. These public events enable adults and children to ask questions directly to the Thrive team and to dispel common myths about renewable energy. One Thrive investor and local resident had this to say about the day:

“For us it’s all about investing for the future in the right way. It’s making a contribution to sustainability and it’s all about the future.”  Clare Henry - Investor with partner Jack Easton.

The Explorerdome Show

Thrive has maintained a proactive approach to improving awareness of climate change and the importance of renewables in energy supply. ExplorerDome is a mobile, inflatable dome offering a wide variety of immersive and interactive science experiences. Thrive has commissioned a bespoke renewable energy show aimed at primary school aged children which is linked to curriculum learning around sources of energy, climate change and renewable technologies.

Thrive took the ExplorerDome to Kessingland Primary Academy in 2017 and delivered the curriculum linked science show to five groups of primary age pupils with enthusiastic, positive feedback. They also welcomed a school year group and eco council to the wind farm at Avonmouth to show them first-hand how a wind farm works.

KSPI 3 - Helping communities to own renewable assets

Thrive Community Energy Funding Bridge

Whilst the number of ‘new’ renewable energy projects available in the market has fallen, the rapid deployment of renewable energy projects over the last decade has on occasions left out communities, communities which wish to play a part in the transition to cleaner sources of energy.

As Thrive’s opportunity to build new projects for its shareholders is currently limited, it considers the next best thing is to use its capital flexibly to allow the migration of assets from commercial ownership to community ownership. The Thrive Community Energy Funding Bridge provides communities with the expertise, funding and certainty required to acquire operational renewable energy projects from commercial owners, then allows the community the time required to raise their own funding to replace Thrive Renewables. In 2017 Thrive supported three communities with a total £11.4 million investment into two wind farms and one solar project.

The Community Energy Funding Bridge achieves a number of Thrive's objectives, facilitating the diversification of ownership of renewable energy projects whilst also generating a return for Thrive’s own investors. For example, Thrive has already contributed to connecting an additional 720 individuals to the Mean Moor wind farm and intend to provide further community energy funding bridges in 2018.

Case study: Mean Moor

Through Thirve Renewables Community Energy Bridge Fund three renewable energy co-operatives, High Winds Community Energy Society, together with Baywind Energy and Energy Prospects were able to acquire the Mean Moor wind farm in Cumbria.

The wind farm comprises of three 2.3 MW Enercon turbines across the valley from the existing High Winds two turbines at Harlock Hill in south Cumbria. Through co-operation, the Energy4All family of Co-ops has been able to acquire an existing wind farm from a commercial operator.

This purchase demonstrates the ability of the community sector to operate in the business world, and reflects the appetite for greater community ownership of renewable energy as an end in itself, especially important since most of the government subsidies for new build have been substantially reduced.

In a joint chairmen’s statement, David Eastlick (HighWinds), Richard Scott (Baywind) and Rod Blunden (Energy Prospects) of the three community parties said:
“We are delighted that we have been able to acquire the wind farm at Mean Moor. It is important that co-ops work together and show communities that individual people can make a difference to climate change. As well as the electricity generated feeding into the local grid, payments will be made to a local community fund, which will offer grants to small charities and organisations in South Cumbria.”

Matthew Clayton, Managing Director of Thrive Renewables shared that “Thrive is delighted to be working with the three communities, providing the interim finance needed to allow the communities acquire this wind farm. Thrive is committed to allowing people and local communities directly contribute to the transition to a cleaner, smarter energy system”

Common environmental performance indicators (CEPIs)

CEPIs are environmental performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Carbon emissions

During 2017 Thrive Renewables' total renewable energy portfolio generated enough renewable energy to offset approximately 79,570 tonnes of CO2. This translates to 14.3 tonnes of CO2 savings per year per average shareholder and is double the UK national average CO2 emissions per person of 7.1 tonnes.

Community investment

Thrive's Communuty Benefit Payments and Community Benefit Programmes fill a gap between domestic and commercial funding. The impact of this programme is far-reaching, because it provides well-placed information for the local community about both the nearby project and energy-saving measures that could work in their own homes. Because of its success, Thrive have extended the programme into 2017.

† BEIS, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. 3,994kWh/home

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