thumbnail of DistGen Hinton

DistGen Hinton

Return 8.0%-9.1% IRR (variable)
Term 19 years
Total Invested £700k
430  investors
Maturity date 30 Jun 2034
thumbnail of DistGen Hinton

What does the company do?

The Distributed Generation (DistGen) group, set up in 2005, owns and operates renewable wind energy projects in the UK. DistGen Hinton was the fifth wind turbine project developed by the DistGen group and began generating renewable electricity in 2014.

The wind turbine used for the DistGen Hinton project underwent a complete overhaul and refurbishment after having spent 9 years in the Netherlands, before beginning a new operating period on a farm in South Gloucestershire in 2014. The wind turbine, a refurbished 500kW Vestas V52 turbine, generates renewable electricity fed into the UK grid. The wind turbine is accredited for the Feed-in Tariff scheme, which pays a fixed amount (rising annually with inflation) for each unit of electricity generated, plus an additional amount for the electricity exported to the grid. The company can choose to opt out of the export Feed-in tariff and instead agree a contract with an energy supplier when wholesale electricity prices are higher.

The electricity produced pays investors a return while a portion of gross revenues go to the parish of Dyrham & Hinton. In the case of DistGen Hinton, the aim is to donate 4% of annual revenues to the local community which will go to those projects that best support local needs, guided by the priorities of the local communities.

Why did the company raise money?

This was DistGen’s second offer on Abundance. The money raised refinanced the original installation costs of the Hinton wind project.

How does the company expect to repay the investment?

DistGen Hinton expects to repay investors from revenues it earns over the life of the investment from the generation and sale of electricity from its wind turbine.

How is the company making an impact?

DistGen Hinton is helping to increase the amount of renewable energy used in the UK’s electricity grid as we transition to a 100% low carbon energy future.

DistGen has created a scalable group of companies to localise and democratise energy provision. Alongside generating renewable energy, DistGen is also committed to delivering further benefits to communities by supporting social, welfare, cultural and/or sporting facilities, and where possible they offer a direct community contribution to encourage and sustain such local initiatives.

Refurbished Vestas V52 wind turbine operating in South Gloucestershire
Refurbished Vestas V52 wind turbine operating in South Gloucestershire

Key terms

Issuer DistGen Hinton
Return 8.0% - 9.1% IRR (variable, based on performance)
Term period 19 years
Start date 1 July 2015
Maturity date 30 June 2034
Capital repayment Regular instalments
Amount raised £700,000.00
Return structure

Investment returns are paid every 6 months over the life of the investment.

The amount returned to investors in each period is linked to the performance of the company in the preceding 6 month period. In each period, the return paid goes first towards repaying an equal instalment of the original capital invested, and anything above that amount in each period will be paid as investment income.

Secured or unsecured Unsecured
Early repayment options

The company can only make an early repayment of the investment in certain circumstances, such as a change of control of the company (for example, if some or all of the company was sold to a new owner) or a regulatory/tax requirement.

Documents

Debenture Deed
Download PDF The debenture deed sets out the legal agreement and terms for this investment.

Payment schedule

This table gives a breakdown of what has been paid back to date on this investment, based on an example investment of £1,000. The return on this investment is linked to the performance of the project during each return period.

Payment schedule table
Payment date Capital repayment Dividend Total
10 March 2016 £26.32 £18.98 £45.30
8 September 2016 £26.32 £20.52 £46.84
10 March 2017 £26.32 £10.84 £37.16
8 September 2017 £26.32 £23.19 £49.51
9 March 2018 £26.32 £10.63 £36.95
7 September 2018 £26.32 £25.83 £52.15
8 March 2019 £26.32 £10.80 £37.12
6 September 2019 £26.32 £9.73 £36.05
10 March 2020 £26.32 £12.48 £38.80
8 September 2020 £26.32 £24.60 £50.92
11 March 2021 £26.32 £13.80 £40.12
8 September 2021 £26.32 £7.87 £34.19
11 March 2022 £26.32 £1.00 £27.32
8 September 2022 £26.32 £16.59 £42.91
10 March 2023 £26.32 £11.01 £37.33
8 September 2023 £26.32 £32.68 £59.00
8 March 2024 £26.32 £57.94 £84.26
6 September 2024 Variable Variable Variable
11 March 2025 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2025 Variable Variable Variable
11 March 2026 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2026 Variable Variable Variable
11 March 2027 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2027 Variable Variable Variable
10 March 2028 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2028 Variable Variable Variable
9 March 2029 Variable Variable Variable
7 September 2029 Variable Variable Variable
11 March 2030 Variable Variable Variable
6 September 2030 Variable Variable Variable
11 March 2031 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2031 Variable Variable Variable
10 March 2032 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2032 Variable Variable Variable
11 March 2033 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2033 Variable Variable Variable
10 March 2034 Variable Variable Variable
8 September 2034 Variable Variable Variable

Updates

These updates tell the story of the investment over its life and include information reported to investors by the company or council behind the investment. The updates are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an inducement or invitation to invest. Information provided at the time of publishing may no longer be accurate.

Electricity generated 87.5%
Investment Return 170.8%

For the 6 month period ending 31st December 2023 we are once again very pleased to report the wind turbine has operated reliably and without any major breakdowns. It has achieved an availability of 99.4% that combined with an average wind speed of 6.1m/s resulted in just over 796 MWhs of clean energy being delivered to the local electricity grid.

December 2023 in particular was a standout month with average windspeed of 8.2m/s and generation of just under 220 MWh’s which is the 4th best month since the turbine was commissioned.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 93.3%
Investment Return 108.1%

For the 6 month period ending 30th June 2023 we are once again pleased to report the wind turbine has operated very reliably and without any major breakdowns. It has achieved an availability of 98.4% that combined with an average wind speed of 6.0m/s resulted in just over 747 MWh’s of clean energy being delivered to the local electricity grid.

In May we replaced the generator bearings as a precaution in response to our condition monitoring system (CMS) detecting some new vibrations that it predicted would progress and eventually result in failure. The vibrations have subsequently been confirmed to have ceased and so this early intervention goes to prove the investment in CMS was well made.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 83.3%
Cash Return* 77.8%

For the 6 month period ending 31st December 2022 we are again pleased with the overall performance and availability of the turbine which stood at 99.5%. There were no significant faults or periods of downtime to report.

The average wind speed over the period was a little disappointing at 5.6 m/s with July to September being particularly low windspeed months. Nonetheless, this allowed for generation of nearly 667 MWh.

In December we had a thorough inspection of the turbine by specialist asset integrity engineers who undertook a full visual audit and detailed checks on the drive train and other key mechanical assemblies. In addition we have invested in a state of the art AI-based Condition Monitoring System (CMS) which sends data from multiple sensors to a team of vibration experts who constantly monitor for any early signs of defect in the main bearing, gearbox, drive shaft and generator. Both the inspection and CMS show the turbine is in good health.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 85.5%
Cash Return* 80.8%

For the 6 month period ending 30th June 2022 we are again pleased with the overall performance and availability of the turbine which stood at 98.9%. There were no significant faults or periods of downtime to report.

The average wind speed over the period was 6.2 m/s allowing for generation of nearly 778 MWh. February was a particularly good month achieving 109% of target production and with very strong winds, which, helped push the average windspeed above what would have otherwise been a slightly disappointing period from Spring into early Summer. 

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 68.4%
Cash Return* 58.5%

For the 6 month period ending in December 2021, we are once again pleased with the overall availability of the turbine at 91.6%. This was lower than expected due to a failed power supply on the control system in October - new parts were delivered DOA which meant having to wait for further replacements. It should be noted that although impacts from the pandemic are now much reduced here in the UK, suppliers in other countries are still seeing significant impacts often resulting in longer lead times.

The average windspeed for the period was 4.8 m/s which was mostly a continuation of the generally low windspeeds we’ve suffered all year. The only noticeable exception being storm Arwen which required the turbine to be shutdown for a day to avoid damage.

For the period a total of 562,780 kWh was produced.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 74.5%
Cash Return* 66.1%

Despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID19 situation we are pleased to report that scheduled maintenance and other operations have largely continued unaffected thanks to the not insignificant efforts of our service partners who have managed to stay safe and respond to occasional faults in good time.

Overall availability was a very healthy 97.6% over the period with no significant faults or extended periods of downtime to report. Windspeed for the period averaged at 5.9 m/s which despite a reasonable start to the year was disappointing later on with April and June suffering from particularly below-average windspeeds. This resulted in a lower than expected total generation of approximately 672 MWh of clean electricity.

Looking forward we are still seeing lead times for parts sourced in the EU increasing and this may have an impact on future breakdowns where the parts in question have to be sourced abroad, noting that the majority of components used in modern wind turbines are indeed manufactured overseas. We have placed orders to purchase spares for some of the most common electrical components with higher failure rates but these are typically taking weeks to months to be fulfilled.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 96.0%
Cash Return* 88.2%

Despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID19 situation we are pleased to report that scheduled maintenance and other operations have largely continued unaffected thanks to the significant efforts of our service partners who have managed to stay safe and respond to occasional faults in good time.

Overall availability was 95% over the period and would have been almost 100% if not for a small handful of failures in November and December - all of which were minor electrical components but which still prevented operation of the turbine. December’s breakdown was longer that we’d have liked due to delays in getting parts delivered to site.

Windspeed for the period averaged at 6.1 m/s with a total generation of approximately 763 MWh of clean electricity.

Looking forward we are seeing lead times for parts sourced in the EU increasing and this may have an impact on future breakdowns where the parts in question have to be sourced abroad, noting that the majority of components used in modern wind turbines are indeed manufactured overseas.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 113.9%
Cash Return* 101.0%

For the 6 month period ending on 30th June 2020 we are very pleased to report the Hinton wind turbine has performed well with an overall availability of 99.0% while generation exceeded 106% of target. Wind speeds averaged 7m/s over the period resulting in a total generation of 937 MWh’s of low carbon electricity.

Of particular note were the very strong storms which peaked in February. With an average windspeed of 9.9m/s we set a new record for the highest monthly production of nearly 238 MWh.

Despite the ongoing situation with COVID19, essential maintenance has continued with things now getting back to “nearly normal” and every indication that our enhanced levels of servicing will continue to deliver high levels of availability.

Distgen wind turbines continue to operate as normal. Despite logistical issues around the availability of accommodation for technicians and revised working practices to ensure social distancing, our planned maintenance works continue as scheduled.

Our wind turbines are mostly automatic and managed remotely with key personnel routinely working from home; therefore already with a much reduced risk of infection. Information required for billing and settlement purposes (both FIT and PPA export) is also obtained remotely. Hence there is no requirement for our staff to be travelling on a frequent basis or co-locate in a central office. We use the services of a specialist company for managing the sale of electricity and collection of the Feed-in-Tariff and they themselves are also now all working from home using online systems to help ensure business continuity.

Wind turbine servicing and maintenance clearly does require travel to and from each site and could be affected by any future restrictive guidance or regulation imposed by central government. If this happens we will assess any such restrictions at that time and adapt accordingly. We retain access to several providers of maintenance services and parts, in the UK and Europe, so that in the event of one becoming unavailable we can still operate.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 93.7%
Cash Return* 87.6%

In this last period the turbine has performed as expected with no major faults and an overall availability of 98.9%.

Wind speeds in July were particularly low and we took full advantage of the calm weather to wash and then undertake essential blade maintenance and also to invest in the installation of leading edge protection tape (similar to that used on helicopter blades) to help maintain optimum aerodynamic performance.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 84.9%
Cash Return* 71.1%

Average wind speeds were low for much of this 6-month, particularly during May.

The turbine performance was as expected save for March where we lost around 200 hours due to an HV fault on the local DNO overhead network caused by storm damage. The fault resulted in a pole catching fire and a burnout of equipment in the substation all of which had to be repaired before export could re-commence.

Reviewing the windspeeds and production from other sites, we estimate we lost around 40-50 MWh, which if added back in would have bought the overall production figure in-line with the same period for previous years - even taking into account the very low winds of May.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 94.9%
Cash Return* 89.3%

This period has seen low wind conditions through to October, with the wind picking up again in November and December.

In early October we were alerted of a break-in at the turbine, but there was no material damage and the turbine has continued to operate as normal.

Access had been gained by forcibly removing an exterior ventilation panel from the outside of the door and with the use of power cutting tools they managed to access the door lock. A video which was posted on the internet and shared with us showed the intruders had a good look at the various cabinets in the tower base but were not able to gain access to any high voltage equipment such as the transformer in the base. Ignoring all the danger signs they climbed the tower into the nacelle and on to the roof where they filmed themselves using a small drone before leaving.

Thankfully, aside from damage to the door no other obvious problems have been found aside from one half empty CO2 fire extinguisher which had to be replaced. The metal guard on the inside of the door was replaced with a significantly thicker piece of sheet steel which was then welded onto the door that was then additionally bolted. This should make it virtually impossible to gain access in the same fashion without the use of very heavy duty power tools.

We have filed a report with Avon & Somerset Police and in November an officer from the Wiltshire Constabulary contacted us to collect further details to aid his investigation.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 91.4%
Cash Return* 105.5%

There were no operational issues reported in this period.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 83.4%
Cash Return* 91.1%

This period has seen low wind conditions and in November 2017 there was a short period of downtime due to a blocked valve in a hydraulic unit.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 88.7%
Cash Return* 88.8%

The lower wind speeds of the previous period continued through the rest of the second year which resulted in lower than forecast electricity generation in this period. However, turbine availability was still good and there were no operational issues reported.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 86.8%
Cash Return* 78.9%

This period saw lower wind speeds than the previous year which resulted in lower than forecast electricity generation although the turbine availability was still good and there were no operational issues reported.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 105.6%
Cash Return* 108.1%

The Distgen Hinton turbine continued its strong start with greater than expected electricity generated in the first year. There were no operational issues reported.

An investment return from DistGen Hinton was paid today.

Electricity generated 115.6%
Cash Return* 123.7%

The Distgen Hinton turbine got off to a strong start with greater than expected electricity generated in this period. There were no operational issues reported.

This investment closed today.

DistGen Hinton opened for investment today.