A SOLAR energy firm which Thurrock Council invested millions of pounds in has entered administration.

Toucan Energy Holdings 1 entered administration last night.

Using investments from local authorities, Toucan Energy more than over 500Mw of renewable ​energy sources.

Council bosses have insisted the farms continue to generate money which will be handed over to the council which is embroiled in debt.

The council, which was found to have debts of £1bn, lost control of its finances earlier this year as the Government stepped in to take control.

It owes £11m to other Essex Councils,  with Castle Point, Maldon and Tendring district and borough councils confirming they had lent £3m, £2m and £6m respectively to the unitary authority.

Large amounts of the borrowed money was invested in solar energy.

Councillor Mark Coxshall, leader of Thurrock Council, said: “Yesterday I decided to agree to support Toucan Energy Holdings 1 (TEH1) entering into administration. 

“This is a positive move forward in enabling Thurrock Council to resolve its financial position and maximise recovery for Thurrock residents. 

“The solar farms held by Toucan continue to generate income and as the primary creditor Thurrock Council will be able to seek to recover the value of investment.

“I will be able to share more detail regarding the impact of this on the Council’s finances at the Cabinet meeting on 7 December 2022.  As I have said before I am determined to be open and transparent regarding the Council’s finances and I am seeking to bring certainty to them as soon as possible.  I am confident that the decision to place Toucan into administration is a significant step to reducing our overall debt.”

A spokesman for the Thurrock Commissioners said: “We have been working with Thurrock to help them resolve their serious and complex financial challenges and help the council take the best course of action in relation to these very complex investments, while meeting the directions set out by the Secretary of State.

“The commissioners believe Toucan entering administration is a positive step towards reducing Thurrock’s overall level of debt.”