Europe’s biggest pop music festival -major solar power investment.

27/6/2010 Guardian Festival-flavoured climate change savings bonds.Michael Eavis’s Worthy Farm, home to the Glastonbury festival, is to benefit
from a major solar-power project financed by an ethical bank. This weekend Michael Eavis’s farm is playing host to Europe’s
biggest music festival, but when the 175,000 Glastonbury revellers have gone
home and the stages have been dismantled, work will start on a major solar-power
project financed by an ethical bank’s savers.
Bristol-based Triodos Bank has granted a £500,000 loan to Eavis’s Worthy Farm,
home to the festival, to help pay for the installation of what will be Britain’s
biggest solar roof. The bank says it is a good example of the type of green
project that savers who put their cash in its climate change bonds (which pay
interest of up to 3.25%) are supporting.
The solar-panel system will be on the roof of the “Mootel” – the barns that are
home to the farm’s herd while the festival is on. On a clear,sunny day, it is
expected that the 1,100 panels will generate around 200kW (kilowatts) of power.
That is enough electricity to power about 40 houses, though it is estimated the
farm will consume about 80% of what is produced, says a Triodos Bank spokesman.
The project is costing £550,000, with Eavis (below) providing £50,000 himself,
and the rest being financed by the Triodos loan. Work is due to start in early
Eavis has said he wants the farm, and the festival, “to be as green as they can
be”, and the solar panels will make a huge contribution towards that aim. This
is the first such installation that the bank has financed in the UK, but one of
85 internationally.
Triodos is different from most banks and building societies in that it
guarantees that people’s savings cash will only be used to finance businesses
and charities that benefit people and the environment. In total, it has 36,500
customers in the UK.
Triodos’s climate change bonds are savings bonds where your money is tied up for
two, three or five years. They pay gross interest of 2%, 2.75% and 3.25%
respectively. These are decent rates, though ICICI Bank UK is offering 4.15% on
a three-year fixed-rate bond and 5% on a five-year bond. However, some savers
may take the view they would prefer to deal with an ethical bank.
The spokesman says a customer who puts just £2,679 into one of its climate
change bonds is effectively financing the creation of enough renewable energy
for one average UK home for the next 20 years.
“And because we publish details of all the organisations we lend to, savers can
see what their money’s supporting at,” he
The minimum investment is £500 and the maximum £50,000, and it can be managed
online or by post. Be aware that no early closure or withdrawals are allowed, so
this is not an account for money you are likely to want to access.
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