2019 has been an exciting year for Thrive
During 2019, Thrive had a total of 22 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
Divestment for growth
The sale of two wind farms in 2019 resulted in a gain of £15.4m and released the projected value of the next 10 years of dividends from these projects. This allowed Thrive to pay a significant (40p per share) dividend to shareholders and retain £11m for future investment. It proves the value that shareholders have created from investing in consented projects and turning them into established operating assets and substantiates the directors’ valuation for the company.
Chapelton wind farm - subsidy free, private wire
In November 2019, Thrive acquired the rights to develop a 2.7MW wind farm in Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland. The site secured planning consent in November 2014 but has not been built due to local grid constraints. Thrive has been working with high energy demand businesses locally to explore direct supply opportunities. This ‘private wire’ model connects the wind farm to the business’ own energy system, then supplies power surplus to their demand via their grid connection. The host businesses are offered competitively priced wind power, and any surplus is exported to the local distribution network. Benefits include support for the local economy and the opportunity to build new renewable generation capacity. Once operational, it is planned that the project will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,650 UK homes.
Inverbroom hydro – plugging funding gaps
A 2MW hydro project is currently being constructed on the Inverbroom Estate, close to Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands. The water is sourced from Loch a’Bhraoin, meaning ‘place of showers’ in the Gaelic language, which bodes well for the location of a hydro site. The 2MW project is forecast to generate 2,279 UK homes equivalent of electricity and will implement a community benefit scheme. Thrive committed an investment of £3.4m to the project in September 2019 to maintain the construction schedule in advance of bank debt being secured. The bank funding was finalised in January 2020 and Thrive will now maintain an investment of £1.8m in the project. The project owner plans to repay Thrive in the medium term. Inverbroom hydro prequalified for the Feed in Tariff and is anticipated to commence generation early in 2021.
United Downs Geothermal – technology innovation and baseload renewables (electricity and heat)
In February 2020, Thrive invested in United Downs Geothermal Limited, which will be the UK’s first geothermal electricity generation plant. The site, close to Redruth, Cornwall, has been developed by Geothermal Engineering Ltd. Two wells have been drilled into the granite bedrock, intersecting the Porthtowan fault at 2.3km and 5.1km below the surface. A 3.15MW power plant will be constructed over the coming 18 months, with generation planned to commence in the second half of 2021. In addition to generating 6,500 UK homes equivalent of electricity, there is scope for the project to deliver 12MW of renewable heat locally.