UK local authority pension fund agrees £12m loan for solar farm co-op.
IPE: “Lancashire County Pension Fund has invested £12m (€14m) in a community owned solar power plant in Oxfordshire, a commitment the scheme’s chair described as “worthwhile and sustainable”. The £4.6bn fund for the English county will provide £12m to refinance the project’s cost, with the Westmill Solar Cooperative repaying the loan by 2037.”David Westley, councillor and chair of the Lancashire local authority fund, acknowledged there had been much debate surrounding more localised and specifically community-focused investment and said he was pleased to be able to make the commitment. “Our first responsibility is to secure the best returns for people in our pension fund, but many will be interested in knowing their pension investments are helping fund worthwhile and sustainable schemes such as this one,” he said. The 23.5-year bond will provide the coop with long-term finance, as well as guarantee Lancashire a return 3 percentage points above the retail prices index.”
JL: This is a great start. A people-power megatrend can be expected, I think.