The share offer was launched on 17th October 2011 and closed on 22nd December.
£150,725 was needed for the purchase and installation of the solar array. In the end we were oversubscribed, with over 90 applications for membership and £214,600 raised.
Leominster Community Solar Co-op was set up to own and manage the array and members of the public were invited to become members and invest between £250-20,000 to make the project happen. There are now 94 members of the co-op and over 70 of the members live within 30 miles of the site – with our nearest member living 0.2 miles away! Following co-operative principles, each member will be entitled to one vote, irrespective of the size of their shareholding and there will be annual elections for the board. Any member can stand for these elections.
Due to the length of the feed in tariff for solar projects of this size, the investment period is 25 years. We will shortly be applying for the Enterprise Investment Scheme, which this project should be eligible for, which allows members to claim back 30% of their investment against their tax bill for those who invested £500 or more.
Returns to members will be made on an annual basis and are expected to average 6% over the life of the project, at which point the members’ original investment will be returned to them.