Community Owned Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance acquire portfolio of community solar projects

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We are incredibly proud of our common journey with Community Owned Renewable Energy LLP (“CORE”), CORE’s asset manager, Environmental Finance (“EF”) and the community-owned asset management business Bright Renewables (“Bright”), financed by CORE.

We have acted for CORE and EF since 2017. Initially, we advised on the fund management agreement, and structured the equity investment of Power to Change and Big Society Capital, to capitalise CORE, while also negotiating an arms-length debt facility with Big Society Capital. Together, these financial instruments provide CORE with liquid funds to enable CORE to acquire ground-mounted solar parks in England and Wales from commercial developers and operators (including funds). The strategic aim is to then transition each asset into long term community ownership over time.

The Fund has recently (March 2019) completed a number of additional acquisitions, bringing the total portfolio size to approximately 35MW, with more on the horizon. Our work on each of the acquisitions included full asset due diligence, negotiation of the share purchase agreements, putting in place the financing arrangements and, where necessary, refinancing existing bank debt. Approximately half the portfolio is already in community ownership, and this proportion is set to increase steadily.

CORE and EF are incredibly driven to achieve the best possible outcome for the communities that the assets serve, and we really enjoy being part of this common effort to harness the positive impact of renewable energy. Not only for the environment, but for local people, too.

An article can be found here.

Since early 2019, Bright Renewables have joined this like-minded group, with start-up funding from CORE. Bright offers professional asset management services to CORE’s subsidiaries as well as non-affiliated projects, and it is owned by the communities that it serves. This means that all profits ultimately go back into the community – an excellent way of reinforcing the circular economy and maximising the benefit to the communities.

An article about Bright can be found here.

Most recently, we assisted Bright in its dispute with a construction contractor, thereby helping realise a significant additional amount that will now be available for the benefit of the community.

Our work with CORE, EF and Bright is incredibly satisfying and we look forward to the next part of the journey!

The Lux Nova team have been our legal advisers ever since we set out on the journey of creating the CORE fund and acquiring its first assets in 2017. Since then, we have built an excellent working relationship and a joint sense of purpose. Louisa and Nikola fully understand and support our mission to create value for local communities – assisting us with innovative structuring solutions that enhance the deliverability of our projects, fair pricing and quick work of high quality. We look forward to continuing our journey with them.
— Richard Speak, Founder of Environmental Finance Limited and CORE