Heart of England Community Energy (HECE) was founded in 2017 to bring one of the largest community solar farms in the UK into local community ownership, and enable the Heart of England region to benefit from generating its own energy. That was the just the start of 5 years of hard work by our volunteer directors, our company and asset manager CfR CIC and other advisors to secure our long-term finance structure and refine our operation. We are now seeing the rewards, and our solar farms are projected to generate around £4million of surplus income by 2030 to support local net zero transition initiatives and to help households struggling to pay their bills.
Explore the timeline below to learn about our key milestones.
HECE acquired three solar farms built by Anesco with a total installed capacity of 14.7MW (over 56,000 panels), making it the largest community-owned solar farm in the UK. Funding for the acquisition came from two community investment offers, raising £267,000 in share capital and £340,000 in bond capital, in addition to over £16.5 million in short-term loan finance from Close Brothers Bank and Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).