2021 solar bond offer completed!
Updated: Feb 22
£750,000 raised to complete our long-term financing
At the end of 2021 HECE launched a solar bond offer via Ethex to raise up to £1.1million and complete our long-term financing. In February 2022 the target was reduced to £750,000. HECE no longer needed to raise the full amount as, subsequent to launching the offer, we secured power purchase agreements that have further improved our future cash flows. The reduced target was quickly met and our long-term financing is now complete.
The 2021 bond offer has a term of 15 years paying 4% gross interest annually, but interest payments and return of capital are not guaranteed.
THE OFFER IS NOW CLOSED.
Investors in our 2018 bond offer will be repaid as planned at the end of April 2022, having been paid the full target interest each year.
Our community solar array, made up of over 55,000 solar panels at Drayton Manor Farm on the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon, was bought into community ownership in 2018. The community buy-back was funded by two community investment offers which raised £600,000 in community investment alongside £16.5 million of bank loans and social investment.
John Stott, volunteer Director of Heart of England Community Energy said,
“Since commissioned, our solar array has generated 57 million kilowatt hours of electricity from the sun, provided £66,000 of funding to support local environmental and fuel poverty initiatives, and our community investors have been paid interest at 5 to 6% per year as offered in our 2017/18 share and bond offer documents. This latest community bond offer is the last piece in the jigsaw of securing the long-term funding for the solar array.”
HECE’s solar arrays generate over £1.6 million per year in revenue. As well as covering operating and finance costs (including interest and capital repayments to our share and bond investors), we expect to generate at least £3.5 million over the solar farms’ 25-year operating life to support local community initiatives. John Stott adds,
“It has taken years of work by the volunteer board and our advisors but the legacy for local communities makes it worthwhile. Our community solar array will generate green electricity for at least the next 20 years, and income to support our transition to a low carbon future.”