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Nottinghamshire Community Energy Newsletter

Dear <<First Name>>,

Happy 2017! We are writing to update you on the milestones that we have hit in recent weeks.  We are looking forward to seeing you at our AGM which will be held on Thursday, 23rd February 2017 at 6.00pm in the Embankment, 282-284 Arkwright Street, Trent Bridge, Nottingham NG2 2GR.

AGM
NCE’s AGM will be held on 23rd February at 6.00pm in the Embankment, 282-284 Arkwright Street, Trent Bridge, Nottingham NG2 2GR. The notice has been published on the NCE website here. 

At the AGM we will approve the accounts, appoint auditors, appoint directors, approve the level of members’ interest and approve community fund contributions. The current NCE directors are standing for re-election at the meeting and you can read about them here.  There will be an opportunity to elect a further two directors. If you would like to stand for election, please register your interest with Nick Good at Mongoose Energy (nick.good@mongoose.energy).

There will also be plenty of opportunity for you to ask any questions that you have about the way NCE operates and to get to know your board directors.  The accounts and resolutions will be circulated to you at least 14 days in advance of the AGM.

Project Financing Completed

We finally completed the financing of the Langar Lane solar farm on 14thDecember.  While the financing process took many months longer than anticipated, the delay will not have a major financial impact on the project.

The financing of the project is the result of a unique partnership between local investors, regional agencies and a bank.  £878,650 was provided by our 122 members, many of whom are from the Nottinghamshire region but which also includes people from afar as Cornwall, Brighton and Edinburgh.  A further £2,935,000 was provided by Triodos Bank which specialises in ethical banking and has funded a number of community energy projects.  We were also absolutely delighted that two local agencies invested in the project; Nottinghamshire Pension Fund which provided a loan of £1,500,000 and Nottingham Energy Partnership which purchased £500,000 of shares.  While the participation of so many partners made the financing quite complicated, it’s great to have built such a unique team collaborating in support of our goals of clean energy and community support.

We are also grateful to Mongoose Energy, whose staff worked with us to raise the finance and to complete the rather tortuous financing process.  The delays meant that Mongoose had to work much longer and harder for their fee than any of us anticipated and we are grateful for their persistence.  Mongoose is a company that specialises in the construction and financing of community-owned solar farms and they have raised over £70 million to get solar farms built for 10 community energy groups, from Devon in the west to Kent in the east, and from the Isle of Wight in the south as far north as us in Nottinghamshire.  NCE and the other community groups own just over 50% of Mongoose Energy and we hope to earn a share of profits from Mongoose’s success.

Project Performance

We are pleased to report that the project has been performing to the expected output since energisation, having achieved 100.25% of its target so far.  There is always some variability in performance due to changes in weather.  Over time, however, these monthly and annual variations should even out.  We will continue to report to members on project performance and are looking for a way to make performance data available to investors via our web-site.

Feed-in Tariff Update

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) on which our project depends for its income, has two parts: the generation tariff, which is a subsidy for each kilowatt-hour of solar power that we generate, and the export tariff, which is a payment for each kilowatt-hour of electricity that we supply in to the grid.  In order to earn this income, the project needs to be registered with Ofgem, the FiT regulator, and with npower, who make the actual payment. Unfortunately, Ofgem took many months longer than expected to complete the registration process and we are now in the process of registering with npower as our FIT Licensee. By the end of March, we will be able to submit a meter reading and claim a payment for all electricity generated which will be around £350,000 of income which will be paid before 1st June.

EIS Tax Relief

Many members are seeking EIS tax relief on their investment.  As we have already communicated to you, because of the abrupt way in which the Government withdrew EIS tax relief on community energy projects in November 2015, we were not able to obtain advanced assurance of EIS eligibility.  Nevertheless, now that the project financing is completed, we will be in a position to apply for the tax relief at the end of April although we think that the earliest that we will get a response from HMRC is in May.  We will keep you updated on this.

We hope that you have a happy, healthy and successful 2017 and we are looking forward to seeing you at the AGM.
Best wishes,

Philip Angus (Chairman) & The Nottinghamshire Community Energy Team
Copyright © 2017 Nottinghamshire Community Energy, All rights reserved.


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