An initial raise of £1.75m from 407 investors in April 2015 for the E5 Energy wind turbine installation project on energy crowdfunding platform Trillion has finally been closed, with investors receiving both the capital and expected interest on their loans back early.
Investors who had put in more than £50 were offered a fixed interest of 7 per cent a year for three years. Five months later, Trillion changed its business model after a government decision to withdraw subsidies from the renewable energy sector which the platform says affected its ability to “raise working capital and secure deal flow”.
“I’m delighted that all investors who chose to invest in loans on the Trillionfund.com platform have received their money back, with interest, in full,” said Trillion CEO Theresa Burton. “No one who invested via the platform lost any of their capital, despite the significant blow to the UK renewable energy sector that occurred in Autumn 2015.”
In November 2016, Canadian wind technology firm Endurance Wind Power, which owned 50 per cent of E5 Energy, entered administration. The turbines were taken over as a whole by Earthmill, which continued to manage the turbines and were able to arrange full repayment of all loans on or before their due dates.
As of today, Trillion has facilitated repayments of the outstanding loans for existing investors, and the full settlement of the E5 Energy loan now marks that process completed. AltFi reported in March 2017 that Trillion had marked itself “open for offers” on its core assets, after a failed pivot towards a “Your Brand Crowdfunded” SaaS strategy.
However Burton remains positive: “Renewable energy firms have been adjusting to the loss or reduction of tariffs as business models evolve, costs come down and battery storage becomes a major component. There is a bright horizon on the future.”