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Good Energy Plans U.K. Community Bonds to Fund Wind Expansion

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Good Energy Group Plc, a U.K. retailer of renewable energy, plans to sell community bonds to fund a five-fold expansion in its wind power-generating capacity, Chief Executive Officer Juliet Davenport said.

The bonds will be offered to existing customers and residents of communities near planned wind farms to buy into the projects, Davenport said in an interview in London. Chippenham, Wiltshire-based Good Energy plans to spend about 15 million pounds ($24 million) to add to its current wind-generation capacity of 9.2 megawatts, she said.

“We want to over the next 5 years increase that to 50 megawatts of owned assets, a five-fold increase,” Davenport said. “We’re very much looking at trying to bring a community bond-type instrument in with each of the sites we develop.”

Good Energy is working with a Financial Services Authority-approved organization to raise the funds, and may sell its first community bonds this year, Davenport said. She declined to name the organization. The company plans to add the new generating capacity across about eight sites, including two currently under negotiation, she said.

Davenport said Good Energy prefers to develop its own wind farms rather than buy existing ones.

“We want landowners to trust us and to show that we’re in there for the long haul,” the CEO said. “We want to develop their site, we want to buy their power.”

The utility is working to raise 2.5 million pounds, and over the five years aims to garner another 10 million pounds. Good Energy will plow 2.5 million pounds into the expansion, Davenport said.

U.K. Wind

About 20 percent of the power Good Energy sells comes from its Delabole wind farm, the U.K.’s first, in Cornwall, southwest England. That farm was re-powered last year with Enercon GmbH turbines, more than doubling capacity to 9.2 megawatts from 4 megawatts, Davenport said. That’s enough to power more than 5,000 homes, according to the industry lobby group RenewableUK.

The utility also buys power from more than 1,500 small-scale operators of hydroelectric plants, solar panels, biomass generators and wind turbines, selling it on to consumers who want renewable power.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.

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