A CLYDEBANK-based energy company has clinched a deal to sell a 50 per cent stake in the business to an English local authority for £18 million. Warrington Borough Council approved the investment in Together Energy, alongside a secured loan of £4m for the Scottish firm, at a cabinet meeting on Monday evening. It will lead to Together becoming an exclusive renewable energy supplier. The deal comes after Paul Richards, the former British Gas executive who set up Together Energy in 2016, revealed in June he had been holding talks with potential investors to raise around £15 million. That came after auditors noted in the firm’s accounts for the year ended August 31, 2018, that its ability to continue as a going concern depended on it obtaining additional funding, meeting cashflow projections, and the continuing support of its wholesale trading partner, BP. Losses spiralled to nearly £7m from £922,546 in tough market conditions, though Mr Richards vowed the firm was firmly on the road to profitability. Warrington has built a reputation as one of the UK’s greenest councils, and has held a stated policy aim of setting up its own energy company for several years. Its investment comes amid plans by the Scottish Government to establish a public, not-for-profit energy company by the end of the current parliament in 2021. Warrington invested £59m in two solar wind farm projects in Yorkshire, in Hull and York, in 2018 in a bid to cut its own energy costs. It is understood that the solar farms, currently under development, will in the long term supply the electricity for Together Energy’s customers, with the council also intending to sell energy to the open market to generate revenue. Between them the two solar farms are expected to generate 60MW (megawatts) of renewable electricity.
Herald 11th Sept 2019 read more »