Community shares are a way for community groups to raise money. By buying shares and becoming part-owners of a business, local people can become supporters, volunteers and advocates for the business. If an enterprise is working for the good of your local area, investment from local people can be invaluable.
We want as many people as possible to join DRES which is why the minimum investment is £100. Every member, no matter how much they have contributed, has an equal vote in the running of the society. The maximum investment is £50,000. In the event that the share offer is oversubscribed the board may choose to reduce the holding of the largest shareholders, as we want as many people to be involved as possible.
The purpose of this Share Offer is to raise up to £3 million (of the total projected capital costs of £3.4 million) so that DRES may construct and operate a Solar Meadow on land owned by the James Hutton Institute (JHI). The balance of capital costs is intended to be covered by loan finance to the extent required. DRES will sell the electricity generated to JHI, a world-leading independent scientific research organisation based in Scotland, at a price which increases by CPI inflation every year, subject to a rebate which will depend on the performance of the Project. JHI has an ambitious Climate Action Plan which maps the route to Net Zero by 2035. However, as a research facility it has some very energy intensive facilities, including glasshouses, cold stores and buildings.
Shares issued in this first phase up to 20th December 2023 will earn interest at a rate of 2.5% until the Project is commissioned. Once commissioned the annual projected rate of interest paid to Members on their Share Capital starts at 7% and continues at that rate for the first 4 years, then reduces to 6% for the remainder of term. The Board intends to adopt a minimum rate of 5% but also to have regard for the rate of inflation when considering the rate of Share Interest each year.
Shares are withdrawable at the discretion of the DRES board. In previous share offers, ad-hoc requests have been submitted and considered based on the cash available to the community energy society at that time.
This share offer is a long-term investment in shares to deliver environmental, educational and social impacts as well as a financial return. As with any investment there are risks. Your capital is at risk and may not be readily realisable. Returns are projected and variable, depending on the performance of the project, and are not guaranteed. Your investment is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service, or any deposit protection or dispute resolution scheme, because they do not apply to share offers of non-transferable shares made by community benefit societies. Consider all risks before investing and read the offer documents.
The Board of DRES presently consists of local people committed to green energy, including one permanent representative from the James Hutton Institute. Once the project is operational, the other members of the Board will be elected by the members with each member having one vote. DRES is one of 34 co-operatives supported and assisted by Energy4All who work with communities to develop innovative renewable energy projects, and then helps to raise the funds for those projects. Over £85 million has been raised by Energy4All’s community-owned renewable energy generation co-operatives in locations throughout the UK.