Regular readers of this Newsletter will be aware that I have been helping to expand the Repower Shoalhaven – Community Renewable Energy Program into our local area. For those who haven’t heard of Repower, it is a community group that gathers local, ethical investors to fund solar power systems for small to medium-sized businesses and organisations. There is no upfront cost to the business, they simple buy the power the solar system makes (typically for less than they currently pay for dirty power) and at the end of a ten year contract they are gifted the solar power system. It’s a wonderful model that works well for everyone except the big fossil-fuel companies (I can live with that) and now Repower is offering you the opportunity to invest in community-funded renewable energy.
My friend, Miles Lochhead and I are so impressed with the work Repower is doing we have formed a new ‘division’ we’re calling ‘Repower Southern Highlands‘. And we’re excited to announce that the first Repower Southern Highlands host business is signed up and ready for investor support. Ogden Timber and Hardware in Kiama St, Bowral, has agreed to host a 20kW solar power system and to buy the electricity it produces for ten years. They will save money on their existing power bills for ten years and then own the system at the end of the agreement, so it’s a pretty sweet deal for them. It also gives us, as community members, the opportunity to engage in a local, community-funded, sustainable, ethical investment that supports a great, locally-owned business. We can also show our appreciation to Steve and the crew at Ogdens by buying our timber and hardware from them and getting the kind of friendly and helpful customer service you won’t find at the big chain stores.
Investment Round Due To Open on Monday
The full details and investment documents are due to be released at 3pm on Monday, November 21st at the same time Repower 4 is made available to investors. Five of us from the Highlands drove down together to the Repower office in Bomaderry for an investment information session last night. The following is a brief summary of the investment opportunity.
- Investment is open to Repower members only and anyone can join for a $20 donation (see below for how to join)
- A new company named ‘Repower 4’ has been set up to finance 3 solar power systems totalling 95kW on three separate businesses: Ogdens in Bowral (20kW), Nowra Bowling Club (45kW) and Eagle Farm Dairy near Nowra (30kW).
- The total investment funding required is $139,600 and is being offered as 100 loan notes priced at $1,396 each. Each investor is entitled to a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 50 loan notes and each loan note entitles the investor to a share in the company (see investment documents for details when they are released).
- The period for investment is 10 years with an expected IRR of 5.19% (this figure is not fixed and is based on the performance of the solar systems. It should be noted that the previous three Repower investments have all performed above their initial conservative estimates but this is not guaranteed and there are risks involved)
- Principle and Interest payments will be made in annual payments over the ten year period. Each year one tenth of the principle will be paid along with the interest due for that year.
- No franking credits will apply
- Investment is due to be made available at 3pm on Monday, November 21st and priority will be given to new investors (ones who have not previously invested in a Repower project) for the first five days only.
- The investment round is due to close on November 30th.
- Investors will receive quarterly updates on the performance of the systems and there will be an annual AGM around September each year.
All indications are that the shares will be snapped up pretty quickly (all five of us who went last night are keen to invest) so, if you are considering investing, I suggest you do the following:
- Go to repower.net.au, click ‘Join’ and follow the instructions for becoming a member
- Go to the bottom of the page and ‘Subscribe to our mailing list’. Members should automatically be signed up for this but because the investment is likely to open today it would be good to make sure you are on the mailing list to get the information when it is released.
- Send an email to Repower’s Treasurer, Jessica Burg email@example.com to let her know that you have joined and are interested in investing.
- Check that your online log in works on the Repower website because that is how you will access the investment documents on Monday.
- Once the investment is released, do you own due diligence to decide whether it is the right decision for you to invest but don’t take too long or you will likely miss out.
If you have any questions prior to the release of the full investment documents I suggest you contact Jessica.
If you miss out on this investment round, don’t worry, we expect to have plenty more community-funded solar investment opportunities to offer in the near future. Also, if you know anyone who owns a business or runs an organisation in the Southern Highlands, Illawarra or Shoalhaven areas, please tell them about the benefits of community-funded solar and Repower.