Berwickshire solar scheme breaking investment records

Gillsland, Eyemouth. Many of the houses have roof top solal panels.
Gillsland, Eyemouth. Many of the houses have roof top solal panels.

Plans to install solar panels on almost 750 roofs across Berwickshire have become crowdfunding platform Abundance’s most successful project.

Abundance claims that the scheme is Europe’s largest ever crowd funded solar project, with £700,000 of the £3.1 million target already raised since the fund was launched on October 31 last year.

The Oakapple Berwickshire scheme will see the Leeds-based renewable installer, Oakapple Renewable Energy fit solar panels on eligible Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA)properties throughout a four month period.

Once completed, BHA will operate 2,595kWp of solar capacity and residents with solar panels installed will be able to benefit from unlimited use of the electricity generated by their system for free.

Commenting on the early success of the scheme among investors, chairman of Oakapple Renewable Energy, Phil Taylor, said: “It is great news that so many people are keen to become involved having read about the project on the Abundance Generation website.

“A growing number of people are looking to make ethical investments and this type of project allows them to invest in renewable energy projects, enabling them to make money while supporting the planet.”

He continued: “There are a number of benefits associated with Oakapple Berwickshire. The Housing Association and its tenants have nothing to pay to have the solar panels installed, and the tenants can use as much electricity generated by their solar panels as they need for free, reducing their bills significantly.

“Oakapple Berwickshire, on the other hand, will benefit by earning revenues from the government’s feed-in tariff scheme.”

The project will close for investment on May 31 this year, or when the maximum investment target is met.

Abundance has seen over £8 million invested in renewable energies since it was set up in 2011.

It is now offering investors what is described as an ‘effective’ 7.5 per cent return - before tax and after fees.

Should the funding process not reach its £500,00 total, then investments will be returned.