Large-scale energy storage project in Scotland seeks peer-to-peer investment via Abundance
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017
  • ILI Pump Storage Hydro is developing three energy storage sites in Scotland.
  • First use of crowdfunding to finance energy storage infrastructure.
  • 3-year secured development bond offering 3% annual rate of return, with additional 15% per annum bonus if any of the development projects are successful. The bond is secured on real estate assets with a significant cover ratio.
  • Eligible to be held tax-free in an Innovative Finance ISA.

Abundance Investment Ltd, the UK’s leading ethical peer-to-peer finance platform, has just launched an offer to invest directly in ILI Pump Storage Hydro, a development opportunity that seeks to win planning consent for up to three pumped storage hydro plants in Scotland.

Intelligent Land Investments Group plc, the company behind ILI Pump Storage Hydro, has a track record of developing almost 100 smaller wind and solar projects in Scotland. It now plans to develop three pumped hydro storage projects in Scotland: a site near Loch Ness; a site in the Trossachs; and a site in the Scottish Borders. Each project will have an estimated capacity of around 300 to 400MW.

Energy storage has been identified as one of the key technologies in the UK Government’ s Clean Growth Strategy, while pumped storage is part of the Scottish Government’s 2017 Energy White Paper, ‘The Future of Energy in Scotland’.

As the UK generates more electricity from renewable sources there is an increasing need for energy storage systems that can quickly balance supply and demand. Pumped storage hydro is an established technology that has been used in the UK for over half a century. When more electricity is being produced than is needed it is used to pump water from a downhill to an uphill storage reservoir. When more electricity is needed than is being produced, the water is released downhill, turning turbines which generate electricity. The advantage of pumped storage is that it can respond very quickly to variations in supply and demand, and offers a large capacity long-lasting storage solution which supports the further deployment of renewable energy.

Bruce Davis, co-founder and Managing Director, Abundance, said: “This year Abundance has changed up a gear, bringing our customers opportunities to invest in the next generation of renewable technologies, and we’re ending 2017 on a really strong note with this chance to take a stake in developing over 1000 MW of energy storage. As the first step to getting new large-scale energy storage built in Scotland, with the higher risk/reward profile of a development investment, ILI Pump Storage Hydro really is a win-win for green finance.”

Mark Wilson, the founder and director of ILI Pump Storage Hydro, said: “We’ve been working to get more renewables into the UK electricity system for the past decade. The opportunity to turn our experience to developing pumped storage was an obvious next step to build on our successes with onshore wind. We put great value on involving landowners and local communities in what we do, so partnering with Abundance to raise funds from the general public to help us is another natural progression.”

The structure of the Development Debenture is also a first for Abundance. It is a 3-year secured debenture paying 3% interest a year semi-annually, with an additional 15% a year bonus (both before tax) rolled up and paid following the successful sale of one or more of the pumped storage hydro projects. The issuer also has the option to extend the Debenture by two years if more time is required to secure planning permission and sell a project, during which time investors will earn 6% interest a year.

As with other Abundance investments, the minimum investment starts at just £5 and the investment can be held tax-free in the Abundance Innovative Finance ISA. The target amount for the fund raise is £3.4 million. The offer closes on 28 February 2018, or earlier if fully subscribed.

For more information, please visit: https://www.abundanceinvestment.com
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