Avenston invests in solar cooperatives

Avenston Company acted as one of the investors in the Solar Town project. A solar cooperative is building a photovoltaic station on the municipal roofs of the city of Slavutych in order to earn money by selling electricity at a green tariff. In addition to the investment component, the project also has a public one – part of the profit is planned to be directed to the implementation of city initiatives that will be selected by the local community.

Everyone can become a co-owner of a solar power plant. According to calculations, the members of the cooperative will be able to return their investments for a period of up to 7 years, and in the future – receive income from the sale of energy from renewable energy sources. In Ukraine, the “green” tariff at which solar and wind power plants operate is set in relation to the euro exchange rate. This allows stimulating the sustainable development of renewable energy and the predictability of the income of participants in the energy cooperative after the launch of a solar power station. The members of the cooperative not only invest in the project, they can actively participate in the meeting of the cooperative, attract new members to the “Solar Town” and make other important decisions, because cooperatives are a story about people who work together.

Modeling the placement of a solar power station in one of the buildings in Slavutych
Modeling the placement of a solar power station in one of the buildings in Slavutych

In order to raise the funds necessary to create a solar power station, the cooperative attracts its members according to the model of cooperative co-financing – everyone can buy shares in the cooperative. With these funds, a solar power station will be built on roofs rented by a cooperative in Slavutych. This practice is not new – in recent years in developed countries it has become widespread under the name equity crowdfunding. In the United States, for example, there are already around 30,000 “green” cooperatives, which include about 100 million residents of the country. There are various forms of cooperation in solar energy. The “Solar Town”, in turn, adapts this mechanism to the conditions and features of the regulation of Ukrainian energy.

Avenston encourages everyone to join the Solar Town project and also invest in solar energy. Let’s develop such projects together!

More interesting about the “Solar City” from the head of the cooperative Andriy Zinchenko:

About the “local” component of share sales
There was an exclusive period for the Slavutians when only they could invest. This period lasted two weeks. It’s hard to say how many local investors joined the project but what’s interesting: there are Slavutich natives who now live in Kyiv but bought shares of their “mother” cooperative.

About the capacity of the first cooperative station
The total capacity of the PV power plant according to the Connection Agreement is 200 kW. In fact, the station consists of 3 objects on 3 different roofs: 40 kW, 40 kW and 120 kW.

About guarantees from the authorities
The lease agreement is concluded correctly and legally strong, in accordance with the law. The lease term is 30 years, i.e. until 2049. I believe that there should be no problems with the terms of the lease during the period. In addition, we have the total support from local authorities, and Slavutich has a very positive attitude toward this initiative. Moreover, some of the shareholders are Slavutians, so any dishonest game from the authorities’ side will antagonize their voters. In addition, such a project attracts attention, so Slavutich could potentially get more investment opportunities.

About energy cooperatives expected future development in Ukraine
I believe that development potential is very promising. In different countries, this model has already proved itself as successful for community projects. Equipment for renewable energy generation is getting cheaper, the middle class is slowly but growing. In Ukraine, many regional communities are already thinking about establishing local common solar power plants or projects from biomass, etc. I am sure Ukraine has a large market for energy cooperatives – a distributed generation market. It will develop.

About plans
I don’t know yet when we will build the next cooperative power plant. It will depend on local partners. We had some negotiations with possible regional partners, but we are not in a hurry. First we want to launch the “Sunny City”, and then we will decide with whom to move on.

The worlds’ most energy cooperative favored countries
These are Germany and the USA. By the way, it was in Germany that ordinary citizens built roof solar power stations and began to unite in cooperatives. This, in fact, encouraged the energy transition to the “green” energy in this country.

Energy cooperatives in the world

The energy cooperatives today are full-fledged participants in the energy market in major economies. For Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, and the UK, the principle of “locally produced – locally consumed” is already commonplace. But the most developed and numerous energy cooperatives are indeed located in Germany and the USA. The activity of energy cooperatives for the energy system is profitable because it smooths out peaks and dips in consumption. It is also interesting that, for example, in the USA, the total capitalization of energy cooperatives is higher than that of the largest energy giant.

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