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BSC partnered with PTC RE to establish CORE LLP in 2017, a fund to facilitate the acquisition of a portfolio of eight solar farms across England and Wales for optimisation, refinance and transfer to community ownership. The portfolio was partially refinanced through a £27 million senior loan with Abrdn in 2021. CORE was designed by Finance Earth, PTC RE and BSC to help create revenue streams for disadvantaged communities, the ownership of the assets allows communities to generate their own energy and reinvest profits to benefit local people.
The £11.7 million junior loan facility has enabled the community groups to take full ownership of each of their designated solar assets and repay BSC and PTC RE's original investment.
The solar farms have a collective total capacity of 36MWp, enough to power around 12,750 homes and save circa 317,000 tonnes of CO2 over their lifetimes. Bringing the portfolio of seven solar farms into community ownership will increase the capacity of community owned solar energy in England and Wales by approximately 20%. Over the projects’ lifetime it will generate a collective community benefit fund of around £20 million to support local social and environmental projects and develop new community renewable projects.
The transaction was part pro bono and led by senior associate Joanne Elson and associate Perdita Shirley.
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