Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) is a £50 million ($64 million) social and impact investment programme established and managed by UK-based corporate finance advisory and fund manager, Finance Earth.
The fund aims to support the development of a community-owned solar energy sector in England and Wales.
To date, the CORE portfolio has grown to 36MW of solar farms across England and Wales, representing approximately 15% of total installed community energy in England and Wales1.
The portfolio generates energy to power the equivalent of around 12,500 rural homes per year, saving an estimated 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent2 (CO2e).
Revenues from CORE solar projects iare reinvested through community benefit funds (CBFs), which are managed by five community groups to deliver social and environmental benefits locally. So far, CORE has distributed approximately £400,000 through CBFs and is projected to deliver over £20 million over the lifetime of the assets.
In July, a combined community share offer will aim to raise £2.5 million from local community investors to buy out CORE's equity position in the assets and transfer ownership to the five community groups.
Rich Speak, managing director of Finance Earth, commented, "Through its unique investment programme, ownership structure, and aligned Power to Change grant programme, CORE has maximised the profitability of the solar assets in its portfolio for the benefit of local communities".
Peter Jenkins, chair of CORE, added, "We are delighted to win this award in recognition that social investment and institutional debt can be leveraged at scale to support community energy projects."