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Triodos Bank finances solar farm on former colliery

Triodos Bank has provided over £3 million in project finance to Danish renewables company Better Energy for a ground-mounted solar farm on the site of a former colliery in Creswell, Derbyshire.

The 19,206 panel, 11.8 hectare Creswell Solar Farm is the first time since the closure of the underground coal mine in the 1990s that the location will again be used to produce energy – only this time it will be clean, renewable solar energy.

The project is expected to generate 4,974,000 kWh a year – enough to power 1800 homes.

“We are delighted to finance this ground-mounted solar project, which is the first of a portfolio of similar UK solar projects”

Stirling Habbitts, Senior Relatoinship Manager, Triodos Bank

Better Energy is a solar energy power producer with solar projects totalling over 100 MWp installed and in operation throughout the UK, Germany and Denmark. They focus on development, finance and operation of solar power projects and sources its funding from direct investments, partnerships with and investments via Solar Energy Climate Bonds.

Triodos Bank and Better Energy are collaborating on financing a further 20-50 MWp ground-mounted PV in 2017.

Stirling Habbitts, who led the transaction within the Project Finance Team at Triodos Bank UK said: “We are delighted to finance this ground-mounted solar project, which is the first of a portfolio of similar UK solar projects that we are working on with Better Energy. It’s encouraging that international organisations such as Better Energy are investing in UK renewables, and we look forward to collaborating on future projects.”

The Cresswell Solar Farm was successfully commissioned prior to March 31 2016, meaning that it will qualify for 1.3 ROCs for every MWH produced, and will receive revenue through the ROC (Renewable Obligations Certificates) subsidy scheme and through power sold under a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) contract. Better Energy funded the project with Equity and Climate Bonds in addition to the Triodos Bank loan.

Mark Augustenborg Ødum, Managing Partner Better Energy said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Triodos Bank on the Creswell Solar Farm project and we look forward to our continued cooperation in the future.”

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Better Energy is a renewable energy finance platform allowing investors to invest directly in renewable energy projects from Solar, Wind and Bio Energy to get a regular cash return, based on the energy produced

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