29 January 2024

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon has advised Community Owned Renewable Energy LLP (CORE), a social investment partnership designed and managed by Finance Earth, on an innovative and multi-faceted financing transaction to support the sale of eight ground mounted solar farms to a group of community benefit societies. The transaction involved complex structuring, to serve the principal purpose of enabling community ownership of the solar assets, while achieving debt funding from senior and junior lenders.

Totalling 36MW, the solar farms are expected to generate enough energy to power almost 13,000 homes, save 317,000 CO2 emissions and expected to generate £20 million of surplus funds to be invested back into local community projects.

Burges Salmon advised CORE on both the finance and corporate aspects of the transaction with partner Graham Soar, senior associate Elin Blundell and solicitor Amelia Turner advising on the £31 million senior investment by abrdn into the portfolio in December 2021 and the £11.7m junior financing by Big Society Capital and Power to Change in December 2023. Partner Camilla Usher-Clark and senior associate Amy Carr advised on the sale of the solar assets to the community groups.

Graham Soar comments: “It has been a pleasure working once again with CORE on the financing and transfer of this significant, fully operational, solar portfolio into community ownership, marking an important step-change in community-led energy projects that directly stand to benefit residents, local projects and the environment.”

Richard Speak, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Finance Earth, adds: “This was a complex and multi-faceted transaction and we’re grateful to the Burges Salmon team for their excellent advice and ongoing support.”

Burges Salmon has a strong track record leading on high value and complex Net Zero transactions, including those associated with the solar energy market. The firm is regularly engaged in a range of Net Zero projects from onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage, biomass and energy tech, with the team advising on all key stages and aspects of major renewable developments from planning, financing and construction through to operation and sale.

Key contact

Graham Soar

Graham Soar Partner

  • Banking and Finance
  • Derivatives, Debt Capital Markets and Securitisations
  • Project Finance

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