A pioneering "democratic finance" platform for renewable energy projects in the UK has been set up by Abundance Generation and was advised by the Keystone solicitor Simon Deane-Johns.

Keystone Law has advised Abundance Generation on the set up of its new platform that lets small investors put their money directly into renewable energy projects in the UK. The first offering seeks £1.4m in ‘democratic finance’ for a wind turbine project.

Abundance Generation is the first community finance platform allowing small investors to lend directly to renewable energy projects in the UK. Investors can put in as little as £5 with the return depending on the energy produced. This new form of ‘democratic finance’ – building on the success of peer-to-peer lending and other forms of ‘people-powered finance’ – opens the door for ordinary people to support and participate in the benefits of renewable energy.

Simon Deane-Johns, a consultant solicitor with Keystone’s Commercial and Financial teams, led a team of five colleagues advising on the regulatory issues, terms and conditions and other documentation that will enable Abundance Generation to add new issuers and investment projects to their platform as efficiently as possible.

The first renewable energy project to be available for investment through Abundance Generation is to be a 500kW wind turbine to be installed and operated by Resilient Energy Great Dunkilns plc (REGD) at Great Dunkilns Farm in the Forest of Dean. REGD is a special purpose business, co-founded by the Resilience Centre Limited which focuses on renewable energy projects. From the 20th of April this year investors have been invited to lend money to REGD via debentures for a period of 20 years.

The Keystone team advised Abundance Generation on the financial services, tax, property and planning aspects associated with the Abundance Generation platform and its funding capability. Simon was assisted by Keystone Solicitors Tony Watts (financial services, advising on terms and conditions, FSMA regulatory issues and the terms of the Offer Document), Karl Pocock (Corporate Tax), Tom Daltry (Corporate Tax), Ben Garbett (Planning), and Graham Goldspink (Commercial Property).

Simon Deane-Johns said:

"We are delighted to have advised Abundance Generation and helped to set the standard for future democratic investment projects of this kind. Abundance Generation is an innovative and exciting new finance initiative allowing the ordinary person to invest a small amount of money in renewable energy projects. We are very confident the platform will thrive and become an important source of funding for community projects."

Karl Harder, Co-founder of Abundance Generation, said:

"Requiring three years of extensive research and development, the process of setting up and launching a new community finance platform such as Abundance Generation is very exciting and detailed. We found that Keystone Law were able to guide us through the final phase of this process and assist in our ultimate goal of launching a finance platform for the small investor to be able to invest in renewable energy projects which will benefit society. We are now confident that we can add each new renewable energy project to our platform in an efficient and cost effective manner."

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