Octopus Investments to continue supporting UK solar industry

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Octopus Investments has reaffirmed its commitment to the UK solar industry by launching two new solar-focused venture capital trusts (VCT), reports Solar Power Portal. Unlike Octopus’s previous investments, the new funds are being aimed at companies developing medium-sized (<50kW) installations, which are eligible for the government’s higher feet-in tariff (FiT) rates.

The fund management company’s previous two VCT’s have enabled hundreds of small-scale investors to gain access to the revenue streams facilitated by the government’s PV subsidies. The minimum investment in the trusts is £3,000.

Through these first two trusts, Octopus established itself as one of the UK’s largest solar investors, funding 11 systems, totalling 30MW, with the help of its partner developer Lightsource Renewable Energy.

“We see this as an extremely attractive VCT offering for investors. The key benefit of this structure is that it is a ‘limited-life’ VCT but also a ‘flexible-life’ vehicle for those looking for more long-term, tax-free dividends,” Octopus managing director Paul Latham said.

“Thanks to our investment partner Lightsource we’ve delivered more large-scale solar installations than any other investment company in the country,” Octopus CEO Simon Rogerson added. “We’re currently raising more than £10 million a month into our solar-focused Octopus Enterprise Investment Scheme (OEIS) which, like Octopus VCT 3 and 4, invests in companies constructing sub-50kWp sites.”

Paul Latham, Octopus’s managing director, said, “By April 2012, solar companies will no longer be classed as qualifying investments into Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes, which means those investors who wish to take advantage of the predictable revenue streams offered by solar and the tax-friendly incentives, should be talking to their financial adviser about their options now.”

Paul Latham will be speaking at the upcoming Solar Power UK 2011 event, held from 26-28 October at the Birmingham International Convention Centre. In his presentation ‘After The Cuts – Financing Commercial Solar’, Paul will discuss life beyond the FiT.

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