The UK’s leading peer-to-peer ethical investment company Abundance has begun the year by closing its largest fund raise to date, raising £7 million for innovative Scottish tidal energy company Orbital Marine Power (Orkney).
Courtesy of Orbital Marine Power
Orbital Marine Power (formerly Scotrenewables Tidal Power) will use the funds raised to build its first production model Orbital O2 2MW turbine, an innovative floating tidal turbine platform that can be towed, installed and easily maintained. The project already has secured a number of supporting grants as well as equity funding, including from the Scottish Government.
The Abundance offer of 2.5-year debentures with an annual return of 12 percent attracted 2,278 individual investors, with over half investing via an Innovative Finance ISA for a tax-free return. The average investment was approximately £3,000, with the project attracting particularly strong interest from investors in Scotland who put in 50 percent more on average, at £4,500.
“2019 promises to be the best year yet for the environmental and social investment sector, and it feels significant that our largest investment to date reached its £7 million target on New Year’s Day” said Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint Managing Director, Abundance. “The UK can rightly claim to be a world leader in tidal generation technology and our customers have backed it enthusiastically.”
Andrew Scott, CEO, Orbital Marine Power, added that the company is delighted with the funding result and that it is a terrific endorsement of the technology as well as a clear signal that the UK public is hugely supportive of seeing tidal energy brought into the domestic and global energy mixes.
With this new investment, Orbital Marine Power plans to build its Orbital O2 2MW turbine over the next 12 months, for deployment at Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) during 2020. The Orbital O2 turbine comprises a 73 metre-long floating superstructure, supporting two 1MW turbines on either side. The new turbine will draw upon the success of Orbital’s SR2000 turbine which was launched in 2016 and produced in excess of 3GWh of electricity over its initial 12 month test programme at EMEC.
Orbital’s floating turbine simplifies installation and maintenance as risky underwater operations can be avoided, keeping costs and downtime low, while floating systems can be deployed over a wide range of tidal sites in UK and global waters.
“We’ve got an exciting pipeline of new investments in a wide range of projects and technologies coming up this year” said Davis. “Expect to see more larger offers like this one as issuers take advantage of the change in EU rules on crowdfunding prospectus limits.”
Abundance also recently closed a wind energy investment, E2 Energy, a 16-year investment in a portfolio of farm-scale wind turbines paying an annual return of 5 percent, which raised £2.9 million.
Currently open for investment is CoGen Limited, a debenture offer for the UK’s leading developer of waste gasification facilities, which seeks to tackle the UK’s dual problems of waste and the need for lower carbon energy. The 4.5-year debenture paying 10 percent a year launched shortly before Christmas, and has already raised over £1.2 million, 40 percent of its minimum target.