Triodos Bank's Renewable Energy Fund has purchased a major wind energy development company.
The purchase of Hainsford Energy means that Triodos Renewables now owns 7 per cent of England's onshore wind farm capacity. The bank refused to divulge how much it had paid for the company.
Triodos Renewables now produces enough green energy to power more than 15,000 homes, saving 62,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere every year.
The fund was able to make the acquisition following a successful share issue last year, which increased the number of shareholders to 3,500 and raised £4.75m.
Triodos brands the fund as a "community of interest for renewable energy involving the local community wherever possible", in which investors are looking for social and environmental returns as well as financial ones.
The most recent deal included Hainsford's Sigurd wind farm on Burgar Hill in the Orkneys, which is thought to be Europe's most windy area.
The third farm in the Hainsford group is Caton Moor in Lancashire, which recently underwent a re-powering project: 10 old turbines were replaced with eight newer and more efficient ones.
James Vaccaro, manager of the Renewable Energy Fund, said the acquisition represented a step change in the workings of the fund. "The growth reflects our ability to deliver environmentally and financially on a much bigger stage," he said. "We are working with developers on a range of projects in more industrial areas."
Meanwhile, Charles Rose, director of Hainsford Energy, said that Triodos Renewables offered a powerful combination of commercial understanding and renewables expertise.
"This deal represents a significant change in the company's profile and potential," he added. "Triodos was very flexible and moved quickly to agree a complex deal."
Vaccaro said that the fund would have to carry on working to keep its shareholders fully engaged with the renewables issue.
"We want to continue to get more shareholders involved in the development process, which helps to keep the developments honest and on track," he said.