‘Key’ finance package for energy project organised by Watersheds

By Anita Jaynes on 17 November, 2015

A corporate finance company from Swindon has helped to fund an early stage, major renewable energy project and complement the team with several highly-skilled individuals.

Watersheds secured the funding from active private investors for Suffolk-based Farm Renewables, which will see eight new sustainable energy projects over five sites in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire Leicestershire, Sussex, and Kent.

The money will be used to help get the sites ‘shovel ready’, including obtaining planning permission and securing connections to the National Grid before Watersheds secures a second round of fundraising to allow construction.

The sites involve creating four sites of state-of-the-art photovoltaic solar panels, which generate from five to ten megawatts. Additionally, five anaerobic digestion plants, a natural process of decomposition used to turn farm grown energy crops or food processing waste and other waste organic material into biogas, will also eventually be built.

Watersheds Partner, David Fletcher said, “Attracting investment and talented individuals was quite a challenge because, whereas millions are raised during the construction of such sites, it is this early stage money that is the most difficult to raise.   Pre planning permission funding can be extremely difficult to obtain, so it was crucial to the success of this project.”

Malcolm McAllister, Chairman of Lavenham-based Farm Renewables, said: “Our goal is to develop, operate and invest in a variety of clean technologies, often in partnership with farmers and landowners, to make a significant contribution towards the UK’s renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.

“As a leading provider of independent development and advice on renewable energy, this project is enabling us to take centre stage.“

Nigel Goodhew, Farm Renewables Managing Director, said: ”We required finance for the development stage to allow us to gain planning consent at numerous sites before the construction stage. We wanted the investment but we also wanted to ensure that we were able to gain maximum rewards from the capital gains on any exit.  We turned to David and the team at Watersheds who looked after us and delivered a crucial result.”

Pictured above from left to right: Nigel Goodhew, Farm Renewables Managing Director, next to Chairman Malcolm McAllister