More money for Opium

Documents filed at Companies House this week at to the strange story of South Somerset District Council and Opium power. You may recall that SSDC and Opium formed a joint venture company back in 2018. The idea was to build a battery park on land next to a sub station to supply the National Grid.

The business has benefited from loans of large sums of council tax payers money. SSDC is reluctant to discuss any aspect of the commercial dealings of SSDC Opium Power Limited. Even though they claim to have a controlling interest over the business, they use the fact that it is technically a 50:50 joint venture to claim any dealings with the company are “commercially sensitive.

Charges registered at Companies House reveal that in May 2018 £9.84m was loaned to the company by SSDC. Then again in August 2019 a further £2.5m was borrowed.

Now it appears that SSDC have loaned even more. A further £2.35m facility has been offered to the company, again from SSDC.

All the loans are secured by the value of the land and the batteries installed on it. But SSDC council tax payers have now lent over £14.5m to the company.

The natural question that arises is this: is the value of the security given (the land and the batteries) equal to the value of the loans given?


  • SSDC should open up and be (more) transparent. Publications such as The Leveller will keep digging. Or maybe SSDC is modelling itself on our current PM and his master – Cummings. Never explain. Never apologise.
    As a domestic user with PVs and battery back up I do understand that pay back for the investments will be over several years.
    Currently it costs upfront to be eco in order “to save the planet”
    Keep digging sir.

    • Thank you! We totally support the idea of green energy and understand the fact that returns do take time quite a long time. If this deal didn’t look so strange we would be singing its praises because the idea itself is arguably a good one.

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