Open for investment

Raised £1,572,807

Populo Solar Bond

4.00% p.a.

Standard Rate





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Type Solar

Asset-backed Yes


Estimated loan-to-value 65%

Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. This is a 15-month Bond and is not readily realisable.


This is an opportunity to lend to Populo Energy Limited (“Populo” or “Borrower”), a company that owns a portfolio of 6.9MW of operational solar arrays in the UK. This asset-backed Bond will offer investors a chance to earn 4% p.a. over a period of up to 16 months.

The Borrower is issuing the bond to refinance existing more expensive debt within the business. The Bond is secured against all the assets of Populo, which plans to expand its portfolio over the next six months by bringing in more operational solar assets as suitable opportunities become available.

The portfolio currently consists of 32 rooftop and ground-mounted solar installations that are located across a commercial estate, with just less than 5MW of capacity. These installations benefit from the UK government-backed Feed-in-Tariffs scheme. Populo also owns a ground-mounted solar installation that has a capacity of 1.9MW, which benefits from Renewable Obligation Certificates.

The Raise of up to £3.25 million will be secured against these operational solar assets. Downing has assessed the value of all the assets held by Populo as £9.7 million as at 20 August 2018, meaning this first Tranche has an estimated loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratio of 64.6%.

The Bond has a total capacity of £15 million. Further Tranches may be issued as and when more assets are added to the Borrower’s portfolio subject to a maximum LTV cap at the time of any bond issue of 65%. This means Populo can only borrow up to 65% of its total value, which leaves some buffer.

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The issuer of the bond, Populo Energy Limited (“Populo” or “Borrower”) is a UK limited company that owns operating solar assets. Its portfolio consists of 32 FiT-accredited solar assets with a total capacity of around 5MW and a single 1.9MW ROC-accredited ground mounted solar asset. The FiT assets are situated across a commercial estate and the single 1.9MW ROC-accredited ground-mounted system is located at the facility of a business in Norwich. These subsidies help to ensure a predictable income stream which may be attractive to investors. The Bond is secured against these assets which are well known to Downing having been managed by our funds for three years.

Populo plans to expand its portfolio of operational assets subject to a maximum LTV cap of 65%. Increasing its number of operational assets should help to increase the spread of revenue streams Populo benefits from and reduce some risk.

Downing LLP has significant experience in the energy sector having invested more than £500 million in energy businesses since 2010. This is Downing Crowd’s 14th energy bond. As at 20 August 2018, Downing Crowd has raised almost £65 million for projects around the UK and have repaid over £29 million of capital.*

*Please note, past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.