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£60m deal to deliver solar panels to 8,000 buildings

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£60m deal to deliver solar panels to 8,000 buildings


Published by Anonymous for in Environment and also in Communities

60m deal to deliver solar panels to 8,000 buildings 60m deal to deliver solar panels to 8,000 buildings

Image: Solar panels via Shutterstock

A £60 million partnership between British Gas and two social enterprises is set to deliver solar panels to up to 8,000 school, council and community buildings across the UK.

The partnership between British Gas Solar, Generation Community and Social Finance will seek out energy projects where the financial benefits of solar energy from the government’s feed in tariffs are re-invested back into the local community.

It is estimated that the solar panels will save up to 40% of the electricity bills for potentially 8,000 rooftop sites.

And revenue from the feed in tariffs will flow back into communities to support local social enterprises and educational services targeting fuel poverty.

Social Finance will raise up to £60m of institutional loan capital to finance the pipeline, while members of the community will be able to invest in the solar projects by purchasing shares.

Generation Community will oversee the projects, liaising with local authorities and engaging with community organisations, while British Gas Solar will install the panels.

Social Finance is the lead arranger of the 20-year inflation linked, amortising, asset-backed social solar bond.

“This is an exciting chance to deliver renewable energy both professionally and to a commercial standard, whilst keeping community ownership and values at the core of the project. We hope that local authorities and housing associations come forward to take advantage of this new partnership”, said James Mansfield, director of Gen Community.

Mike Chessum, head of energy construction services at British Gas, said: "Our partnership with Gen Community signals a breakthrough in the delivery of community energy across the UK. We are proud to be the first commercial energy partner working alongside social enterprises that will provide new ways of delivering power to communities.”

Richard Speak, head of sustainable communities at Social Finance, said: “Community energy deals can act as catalyst for mainstream investment markets to align financial returns with tangible social impact. These deals help alleviate fuel poverty for our poorest households and bring the financial benefits back in to the communities.”


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