thumbnail of Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC

Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC

Return 6.0% IRR
Term 20 years
Total Invested £1.78m
699  investors
Maturity date 30 Jun 2036
thumbnail of Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC

What does the company do?

Swindon Common Farm Solar is the company set up by Swindon Borough Council to own and manage a 4.8MW, ground mounted solar PV installation at council owned Common Farm. The solar PV system is part of Swindon Borough Council’s aim to generate enough renewable energy to cover the amount used by local residents, while providing a long-term income for the council.

The solar PV system 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.

Why did the company raise money?

The company raised money through this investment together with a £3,000,000 loan from Swindon Borough Council to fund the installation of the 4.8MW solar PV system at Common farm which was connected to the grid in June 2016. The loan from the council is subordinate to the investment on Abundance.

How does the company expect to repay the investment?

The company expects to repay investors from revenues it earns over the life of the investment from the generation and sale of electricity from its solar PV system.

How is the company making an impact?

Aside from generating enough renewable electricity to supply the equivalent of 1,200 homes, the Common Farm solar project is a biodiversity hotspot, a place for plants and insects to thrive with sheep also grazing part of the year. It is a project that helps create a cleaner, greener Swindon while supporting local community initiatives and providing a stable income for the Council.

The 4.8 MW solar PV system at Common Farm in the Borough of Swindon in Wiltshire
The 4.8 MW solar PV system at Common Farm in the Borough of Swindon in Wiltshire

Key terms

Issuer Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC
Return 6.0% IRR
Term period 20 years
Start date 1 July 2016
Maturity date 30 June 2036
Capital repayment Regular instalments
Amount raised £1,783,000.00
Return structure

The interest and capital is paid in equal instalments every 6 months over the life of the investment.

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.

See the Debenture Deed for details of all circumstances in which the option for early repayment may be exercised.

Documents

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 is due to be paid back on this investment, based on an example investment of £1,000.

Payment schedule table
Payment date Capital repayment Interest Total
10 March 2017 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2017 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
9 March 2018 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
7 September 2018 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2019 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
6 September 2019 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
10 March 2020 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2020 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2021 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2021 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2022 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2022 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
10 March 2023 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2023 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 March 2024 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
6 September 2024 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2025 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2025 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2026 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2026 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2027 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2027 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
10 March 2028 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2028 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
9 March 2029 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
7 September 2029 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2030 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
6 September 2030 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2031 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2031 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
10 March 2032 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2032 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
11 March 2033 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2033 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
10 March 2034 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2034 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
9 March 2035 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
7 September 2035 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
10 March 2036 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
8 September 2036 £25.00 £18.59 £43.59
Total £1,000.00 £743.60 £1,743.60

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.

The site is operating at full capacity and is performing in line with expectations.

One of the inverters was offline for a period awaiting spare parts, however sales revenue is higher than was expected thus minimising the impact of this disruption.

The site is operating at full capacity and is performing in line with expectations.

The site is operating at full capacity and is performing in line with expectations.

The site is operating at full capacity and is performing in line with expectations.

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

The site is operating at full capacity and is performing in line with expectations. The issue reported in the last report resulted in about 6 weeks of downtime.

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

The site has been performing well and is close to its expected output. The new contractor continues to keep the site to a good operational standard, however there was an issue with the site in February which has been investigated and is in the process of being repaired but as a consequence the site is currently offline. The site should be back up and running in early April, due to the lead time needed to source new parts.

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

There were no operational issues in this period and the solar systems generated 112.9% of the forecast electricity generation.

The site has been performing well and generated in excess of expectations during January to May, during the good weather, this dropped slightly in June. The new contractor is keeping the site to a good operational standard.

Swindon Common Farm Solar has provided a brief update from on operations during COVID-19:

"COVID 19 has not had any impact on the performance of the solar farm and procedures have been put in place to allow maintenance to continue in a safe manner."

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

There were no material operational issues reported and the solar systems generated 101.8% of the forecasted electricity generation.

The site has been running well and is producing slightly better than expected, taking advantage of the hot weather during the summer.

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

There were no operational issues reported in this period and the solar systems generated 100.9% of the forecasted electricity generation.

The site is now performing close to expected levels, broadly in line with solar irradiation. As of April we have a new contractor looking after the site's operations and maintenance. We have now opted to fix our export price to the government's standard export tariff. While we were getting better rates on the open market in winter, the bulk of our generation and therefore sales is in the summer months where we think we are better off with the government's export tariff, which is also inflation linked.

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

In this period there were some operational issues which resulted in the solar system generating 61% of the forecasted electricity generation.

During July both transformers failed due to an issue with the cooling oil overheating. Upon inspection it was established that new transformers were required and these were installed during September, although one subsequently had to again be replaced due to operational issues. In addition, during testing of the new equipment some cabling issues were identified which needed repairs and upgrades. The costs of this work fell to the Company as the warranties on the original equipment had expired.

Despite these additional costs, financial performance is broadly in line with expectations, as although some energy production was lost over the summer, the export rates achieved were significantly higher than the business plan and insurance costs for the site were significantly less.

There were no operational issues reported in this period and the solar systems generated 101.4% of the forecasted electricity generation.

There were no operational issues reported in this period and the solar systems generated 96.2% of the forecasted electricity generation.

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

During this period the solar system had a fault with its transformer and grid connection which impacted electricity generation across February and March. This has now been resolved and did not impact the payment due to investors. Swindon Common Farm Solar continue to investigate whether they can receive compensation for the lost electricity generation either from the system installer or equipment suppliers. The solar systems generated 70.2% of the forecasted electricity generation.

An investment return from Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC was paid today.

The 5MW solar PV system near Swindon was installed towards the end of June 2016 and went through a commissioning and testing process which it passed successfully. Electricity generated was marginally less than forecast in the first period but it had a solid start given the solar system was still bedding in. There were no operational issues reported and the solar systems generated 96.4% of the forecasted electricity generation.

This investment closed today.

Swindon Common Farm Solar CIC opened for investment today.