23 Apr 2024

Thrive partners with Eden Sustainable on solar accelerator deal facility aiming to fund up to 75MW of new 'direct wire' solar projects

We’re working together to install rooftop and ground mount solar on schools and businesses across the UK.
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Article written by alex.lomax

Thrive is providing experienced solar developer and construction company, Eden Sustainable, with £75 million in funding to accelerate the roll out of private wire solar PPA projects for schools, businesses, and other organisations across the UK. 

An on-site or ‘direct wire’ project is when a renewable asset like a rooftop solar array is built on a commercial premises, with the host business benefitting from a direct supply of clean electricity. With no upfront capital investment required, the business will purchase the energy directly from Eden through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Such arrangements help to protect the host business against high energy prices at the same time as supporting the UK’s net zero goals.  

​​The first round of investment will be into 15 schools, including​ ​phase 1 of the ​Oasis Community Learning ​portfolio,​​ ​which ​will save​ an estimated 8,000 tonnes of carbon emissions and £3 million in total.   

“We believe that funding partnerships ​like this ​can help catalyse the industry, accelerating the delivery of vital new renewable energy capacity at the pace and scale needed for net zero. We’re excited to be partnering with Eden, a business that closely aligns with our ethos and values, helping fund its expansion plans that could see up to 75MW of new rooftop solar installed. This also supports our own ambitious growth goals, with the aim to double Thrive’s generation capacity within the next five years. The clean energy system of the future will need to rely on a number of technologies working together, with private wire projects enabling more renewables to be deployed at a time when access to the grid is at a real bottleneck.”​​

Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables

Commercial buildings are currently responsible for almost a quarter (23%) of built environment carbon emissions in the UK [1], however​,​ rooftop solar projects can help businesses to decarbonise by giving them access to a direct supply of cheaper, cleaner electricity.  

This holds significant potential for supporting the UK’s net zero goals, with a 2023 report by the countryside charity, CPRE, suggesting that installing solar panels on existing rooftops and other land could deliver at least 40-50GW in England alone – going a long way to meet the ​solar industry’s ​target of delivering 70GW of new solar energy by 2035.   

“Steve Baker, the philanthropist and entrepreneur, and I founded Eden 10 years ago to decarbonise our building stock by providing solutions which worked for both power users and investors. It is fantastically exciting to supercharge this provision by working with Thrive, a brilliant and aligned company, to create real scale, and real impact. Thrive and Eden’s combined experience and ambition will help accelerate the deployment of commercial and industrial solar in support of the UK’s net zero commitments, while the deal has also help​​ed​​​ ​​​turn​​​ ​us into a niche ​​​independent ​​p​​ower ​​p​​roducer, which is a natural evolution of Eden’s growth strategy.”​​

Scott Burrows, Director and Co-Founder, Eden Sustainable

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