Jan 3 2018
Newton Downs solar farm is coming into community ownership
CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy) has bought the Newton Downs solar farm from Good Energy in partnership with Yealm Community Energy (YCE).
CORE is a £40 million community energy fund that acquires solar farms on behalf of the local community, and then facilitates their transfer into community ownership. CORE has been working with YCE over the last few months to help bring Newton Downs into community ownership.
CORE invested £5.83 million to fund the purchase. YCE now has three years to raise the ‘equity’ capital and debt finance to take the solar farm into total community ownership from a community investment offer. CORE will be helping to raise the long-term loan finance, and will be implementing a range of improvements to Newton Downs in order to optimise the environmental and financial benefits.
Newton Downs solar farm is expected to generate £20,000 a year of income for a community fund from the outset, and over £1 million over its 30-year life.
The YCE AGM will take place on Saturday February 3rd, at 10:00 am, in the WI Hall on the Green in Newton Ferrers. Everyone interested in supporting this initiative is welcome.
Creacombe solar farm
The landowner, Gnaton Farms has made a planning application for a 7.3 MW solar farm, with negligible visual impact, on the borders of Holbeton, Yealmpton and Newton Ferrers/Noss Mayo. They wish to offer it to the local community to purchase, and would give Yealm Community Energy preference to do that. We are in discussions with them on agreeing the basis on which we could purchase it. Note that there will be no subsidies available, so it will be a pioneering subsidy-free project, but that makes the financial viability more challenging.