A Double Win for Communities and Solar

Leapfrog Finance funds acquisition of two community solar projects by Empower Community Foundation from Pfalzsolar

  • Two community solar projects acquired of 5MW each
  • Projects have the potential to generate over £2 million of income for local community organisations and projects over their 25-year lifetime
  • Empower Community adds to a rapidly growing solar portfolio

Leapfrog Finance is proud to announce its funding of the acquisition by Empower Community Foundation (ECF) of two solar Community Interest Companies (CIC) of a combined 10MW constructed by Pfalzsolar. The sites are located in Salisbury and Arbroath and were commissioned in June 2016. ECF will run the solar farms as community projects for the benefit of the local communities, and over the next 6 months will be engaging local organisations to maximise the community benefit from the project income.

Lux Nova Partners and Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants acted for Leapfrog Finance. Bates Wells and Braithwaite and Francis Clarke acted for Empower Community Foundation.

Richard O’Rourke, Managing Director of Leapfrog Finance said “We’re delighted to have been able to support ECF’s acquisition of this project. It is yet another example of Leapfrog’s commitment to not only enabling community ownership, but maximising social impact. Forecast to deliver over £2m of community income over the life of the projects, it has enormous potential to catalyse the delivery of social impact across a wide spectrum of issues in these communities.”

Alex Grayson, trustee at Empower Community Foundation, said: “These two community-benefit solar parks add to the many thousands of solar installations on social housing that Empower Community has developed and financed and continues to prove that at-scale renewable energy generation can be configured for community benefit.”

Thomas Kercher, CEO of Pfalzsolar, said: “It’s a real pleasure to see Pfalzsolar’s commitment to renewable energy benefitting the local community. Pfalzsolar was involved in all aspects of this project, from development through to financing and construction, and continues to provide operation and maintenance services.”

Candice Motran, Investment Director at Big Society Capital, said: “I am thrilled to see another project receive finance through our facility with Leapfrog Finance. The goal we had in making the facility available was to make it easier for communities to acquire large renewable energy assets which had the potential to deliver significant sums to local projects delivering impact in communities. This project will deliver on those goals, making it a great success for Leapfrog Finance, Empower Community and the Salisbury and Arbroath communities.”

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From left to right, standing: Leapfrog Finance (Richard O’Rourke, Matthew Andrews), Empower Community (Bob Knowles, Paul Yiannouzis). Seated: Alex Grayson, Empower Community

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