2018 has been an exciting year for Thrive
During 2018, Thrive had a total of 23 investments:
• Sixteen renewable energy projects owned outright or in co-ownership
• Funds provided to build a further two renewable energy projects
• Community bridge funding to three projects
• Investments into two sustainable energy project development companies - one electricity storage and one heat
Aura Power Energy Solutions
In May 2018, Thrive established a joint venture with battery storage developer, Aura Power. The joint venture, Aura Power Energy Solutions Limited (APES), offers businesses the opportunity to share the financial and environmental benefits of hosting a battery with APES. The APES business model has two sources of income; the delivery of electricity grid balancing services and sharing cost savings achieved by the host by consuming power stored in the battery at times when the import electricity price is highest. Both the provision of balancing services and reducing peak demand on the electricity system have a positive impact on the UK’s fuel mix. Balancing services provide flexibility which allows greater use of renewable energy sources and the continued retirement of coal fired power stations. Lowering peak demand reduces the most carbon intensive emission periods.
In July 2018, Thrive invested £350,000 into Rendesco Holdings Limited. Rendesco designs, installs and operates heating and hot water systems using ground source heat pumps as the primary energy source and specialises in delivering such systems to new build retirement homes. Rendesco plans to deliver 100 ground source heat pump systems following a £4 million capital raise in the summer of 2018, targeting the delivery of 4,000 tCO2e emission reductions annually.
Community Energy Funding Bridge (CEFB)
The CEFB aims to facilitate the transition of ownership of renewable energy assets from corporate to community and/or co-operative ownership.
The £1.7m CEFB provided to Sheriffhales Solar Community Investment Company solar project and the £2.35m to Brockholes Community Energy Limited wind farm were repaid in November and December 2018 respectively. Sheriffhales solar project is now being managed by Community Owned Renewable Energy LLP (CORE). It is intended that under CORE’s management both community benefits and community ownership will increase.
Thrive also provided a £7.4m CEFB to facilitate the acquisition of Mean Moor wind farm by three energy co-operatives. In late 2017 and the first half of 2018, the energy co-operatives successfully raised £4 to partially replace the CEFB. The cooperative fundraising unites over 700 investors and the balance of the Mean Moor CEFB is due to be repaid in the first half of 2020.