Newsletter August 2017 – AGM, Interest rate, project pipeline
This newsletter has news about the interest rate to be paid on shares and the Community Benefit Fund contribution for 2016/17, the date for this year’s AGM, a change in the management of the share register, and a roundup of current project development.
Annual interest rate and community benefit fund for 2016/17
At their July board meeting the Directors of Low Carbon Gordano agreed to maintain the interest rate on shares at 5.5%, the same as last year. They also agreed to contribute £15,000 to the Community Benefit Fund.
The interest payments will be sent out by the end of November.
The interest rate decision takes account of the performance of our projects during 2016/17 as well as the prevailing inflation rate as measured by the RPI. The feed-in tariff is adjusted in April each year based on the RPI the previous November. The FiT for 2016/17 increased by 1.1% in line with November 2015 RPI. Our policy is to aim to pay interest at 4% over the prevailing RPI so a figure of 5.5% meets this objective.
The board is also proposing to make a community benefit contribution of £15,000 to be distributed during 2018. This is a reduction on last year’s contribution but reflects a sustainable level in line with our financial projections for the next 20 years or so. This proposal is subject to the approval of the AGM.
The Moorhouse array has now been operating for two full years and the generation in 2016/17 is about 3% less than the previous year which we can ascribe to a reduction in sunshine rather than panel deterioration or any other controllable cause.
This year the AGM will be held at the Folk Hall in Portishead at 7:30pm on Friday 29 September. The agenda and other details will be sent to members at the beginning of September.
Changes to the share registry
Following a review of our share registry arrangements we have decided to change the way that our share register is managed. Mongoose Energy have negotiated an arrangement with Nevilles Registrars that will provide the share registry service at a discounted cost for the Community Benefit Societies that are part of Mongoose Energy.
The board therefore took the decision to move our share registry to Nevilles and this move was completed in July.
In future therefore you should contact Nevilles if you have any queries concerning your shareholding. You will also receive communications from Nevilles in regard to your annual interest payments.
The contact details for Nevilles are as follows:
Registered Office: Neville House . 18 Laurel Lane . Halesowen . B63 3DA .
Telephone: 0121 585 1131
You can find out more about Nevilles on their website at www.nevilleregistrars.co.uk
We are not expecting any problems with this move but should you have any issues and for any other queries concerning Low Carbon Gordano please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current projects in the pipeline
While we have not managed to bring any projects on-line since January 2016 we have spent considerable effort following up leads and carrying out discussions and negotiations with a number of potential building users.
At the moment we are close to finalising a 236kW solar pv installation at an academy school in North Somerset. All being well we could have an agreement early in the new school year with installation beginning soon after.
We are nearing the end of a negotiation to purchase an existing 50KW ground mounted array that was erected in 2012 so with a higher feed-in tariff than is now available. The project is going through a final legal process so should be completed soon.
We have just made a proposal for a 30kW roof-mounted scheme for a Charity based in Bristol. This will be going to their Trustees shortly and we are hopeful that they will agree to proceed.
We are in a similar position with another Bristol charity for a 30kW or 50kW roof scheme.
So if all these schemes get through the initial negotiations we could be adding another 360kW to our portfolio of projects over the next year. However we have been disappointed with previous projects that have reached this stage so we need to be realistic about our expectations.
If you are aware of any schools, charities, or other community buildings that could benefit from solar arrays then please get in touch. The key criteria are that the building has a secure 25-year life ahead, the roof or roofs should have an east, west, or southerly aspect, and the building will use 80-90% of the PV generated. We would also be interested in any owner-occupied commercial premises.
all the best
Chair, Low Carbon Gordano
tel: 07976 320445