Interest rate and community benefit fund agreed at AGM

At the Annual General Meeting held in Portishead on Wednesday 23 September 2015 the board proposed the payment of 7% interest on shares for the year ending March 2015. The board also recommended that an initial contribution to the Community Fund of £25,000 should be made. After some discussion these proposals were approved by the meeting.

We have asked Transition Portishead to administer the Community Benefit fund for us. They have applied to the Charity Commision for registration as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and are expecting this to be granted in the next few weeks. Once this is in place they will establish a separate grant committee and begin to promote the fund to local communities.

Overall it has been a very successful year with Moorhouse fully operational since April 2015 and operating above predicted performance and with a second succesful share offer raising £975,000 in 6 weeks to build the 930kW array at Ham Lane, Kingston Seymour. The Ham Lane project is well underway with the tables now fully erected, and most of the panels installed. The inverters are due in the middle of October and the whole plant should be connected to the grid and operational in the first week of November.

Solar panels installed and cable trench

Solar panels installed and cable trench

WPD sub station at Ham Lane

WPD sub station at Ham Lane









We are disappointed that we have been unable to get any small community projects under way largely due to concerns over entering into 25-year roof leases. We have also been unable to secure any wind projects.

I pointed out in my presentation of the annual report that the political and economic climate that we are operating in has altered radically since the Moorhouse Lane share offer was launched and it may not be possible to maintain these levels of interest or community benefit in future years. However our Moorhouse plant is operating at 6% above predicted performance and this is helping to offset pressure on income from a reduced feed in tariff, low wholesale prices, and removal of the Climate Change Levy Exemption from renewables.

The future is looking very difficult with Government effectively removing subsidies for renewables from 1 January 2016. However our partners Mongoose Energy are working to develop a community energy company that will be able to sell our generation direct to customers and obtain much better prices for our electricity.

We will be writing to you shortly asking you to write to or visit your MP to campaign against these draconian cuts to the support for renewables and presenting the arguments you can use.

The EIS certificates should be sent out shortly once HMRC have responded to our application. If you normally complete a tax return then there is a section on the return (Other tax relief) where you can enter the EIS information. If you do not complete a tax return then there is a form on the EIS certificate which you complete and send to your tax office. The details will accompany the certificates when they are sent out.

A copy of my presentation to the AGM can be found HERE.

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