Irish solar energy group raises more than €900,000 through crowdfunding

7 Jul 2014

The BNRG Gorse project

BNRG Renewables, an Irish-based solar energy group, has raised €918,000 via crowdfunding to refinance two solar farms in Kent, England, that power 82 homes.

The two 249kW sites in the UK, known as BNRG Gorse, have more than 540 investors each, expecting inflation-linked returns of 7.35pc, with BNRG funding the projects initially off balance sheets and now refinanced by way of crowdfunding using the site Abundance.

While BNRG has previously funded one of its solar developments through Abundance, BNRG Gorse is its first project in which Irish resident investors (as well as those throughout the European Economic Area) could invest in, as well.

The company has heralded the growing success of crowdfunding as a legitimate model of raising funding for a business by allowing it to source funds inexpensively from a larger group of people, some of whom may have only very modest sums to invest.

The minimum investment for the project was just €6.29, which can be held for as long as 20 years.

BNRG’s founder, David Maguire, believes the company will continue to use crowdfunding for some of its future projects.

“While our core business is in larger utility scale projects of which we have developed and constructed over €150m worth of assets, we have developed a number of commercial scale projects and crowdfunding is a great solution for these smaller renewable projects. It feels fantastic to be playing a wider part in a sustainable economy, not only offering clean power but good investments directly to the public,” Maguire said.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic