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GIB-backed Albion targets £100m for renewables

The UK’s Green Investment Bank has pledged £50m to a community-scale renewable energy platform managed by Albion Community Power.

The UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) has committed £50 million (€68 million; $78 million) to Albion Community Power (ACP) for a platform which will make equity investments in community-scale renewable energy projects in the UK.

In addition, Strathclyde Pension Fund has committed £10 million, bringing the total raised to £60 million to date. A statement said ACP was seeking a further £40 million from co-investors to bring the total capital available to £100 million.

ACP is a power generation company which receives advisory and other services from UK venture capital firm Albion Ventures. It claims to have identified a “substantial project pipeline” and will aim to fund up to 30 projects generating around 24 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy – enough to power 17,500 homes.

Each project funding will involve between £1 million and £10 million of equity and will target the likes of run-of-river hydropower, onshore wind on brownfield sites such as industrial estates, and biogas projects such as anaerobic digestion and landfill gas.

The first investment to come from the platform is a 2MW run-of-river hydropower project on the River Allt Coire Chaorach near Crianlarich, 10 miles north of Loch Lomond in Scotland. The £8.5 million project will generate 8 gigawatt/hours (GWh) of electricity per year.

“We are delighted to welcome GIB and Stratchclyde as new investors in ACP,” said Volker Beckers, chair of ACP, in the statement. “It is a clear sign that institutional demand for community-scale renewable energy is growing and ACP is well placed to benefit from this trend.”

GIB was launched in November 2012 with £3.8 billion of funding from the UK government and operates on a ‘for profit’ basis to help accelerate the UK’s transition to a greener economy. It has previously committed £100 million to a £200 million lending programme for community-scale renewable energy projects managed by Temporis Capital.

The £14 billion Strathclyde Pension Fund provides services to around 200,000 people in the public, private and third sectors and is part of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme administered by Glasgow City Council.