Led by Business Group Partner and renowned energy and cross-disciplinary specialist Ian Holyoak, our team provides commercial pragmatic advice on highly complex, technically challenging sustainable energy projects.
Acting for clients in the UK and beyond in projects and initiatives , our expertise and personalised service is appreciated by clients seeking practical solutions that integrate sound ESG values.
Our Energy sector team includes specialists who have joined us from several of the UK’s largest City and national legal practices. We’ve focused our cutting-edge smart and sustainable energy expertise on working with major developers and funders on exciting projects which range from community to utility scale, and positively impact their communities.
We empower sustainable energy enterprise nationally and internationally. When clients need commercial, creative, collaborative Energy sector advice, we’re always ready.
In a challenging and changeable landscape of regulation, competition and subsidy, we understand that you need lawyers at the forefront of the developments in the law and the wider industry. Our market-leading sustainable energy experience includes working with some of the UK’s most active renewable developers and funders on projects from community-scale developments to the financing and development of utility-scale installations and aggregation of portfolios of projects with institutional investors.
We have extensive knowledge of solar, onshore wind, anaerobic digestion and hydro-electric projects, as well as experience with emerging technologies and co-location developments. We are well connected in the sustainable energy market and have excellent relationships with intermediaries, technical advisers and funders. We are members of Regen.
Solar energy in the UK has grown hugely in recent years and found itself bearing the brunt of changes to Government support. Our team has worked with clients throughout the turbulence and into the new post-subsidy landscape, bringing our experience and legal knowledge to your projects.
Our solar PV experience ranges from rooftop installations to capacity-market scale sites, from greenfield developments through to consolidations and institutional investments. We act for developers, funders, investors, landowners and aggregators amongst others, and are well versed in assisting clients on any side of the table.
Onshore wind is now widely recognised as one of the cheapest forms of energy. In the UK, our abundance of resource is overshadowed with complex and often controversial planning and environmental considerations. Whilst the appetite for new installations has ebbed in recent years as a result of this, wind energy undoubtedly has a significant part to play in getting the energy mix right in the future.
Our Energy lawyers have extensive experience of all aspects of wind projects, including dealing with complex planning and environmental considerations, de-commissioning arrangements and negotiating the constantly changing subsidy frameworks. We have worked on single turbines at small scales to multi-turbine projects across England, Scotland and Wales, both during development stages and in the secondary market.
AD facilities are often innocuous-looking installations located on agricultural sites, belying the complex contractual networks required to develop and operate them. As yields and maintenance costs closely correlate to the quality of installation, feedstock and operational support, getting effective, multi-disciplinary documentation in place early on is critical to the long-term security and profitability of any AD installation.
We have considerable experience in conventional AD sites and gas-to-grid projects including joint ventures, multi-layered feedstock supply chains, onward sale of biogas and by-products, environmental considerations, biological support arrangements, third party gas treatment works and interfacing with the gas grid. We also frequently deal with issues relating to access, co-location on farm sites and funding of more challenging developments.
The potential of hydro-electric power has been understood for many years, and rivers in the UK are the site of many an established weir. Advances in technology allow for viable projects which produce steady and reliable power, while upgrading weir sites can also bring a range of ecological advantages to our rivers.
Our hydro experience includes international projects for large-scale hydro-electric generation, as well as micro-hydro, advising on funding, construction, joint ventures, and forward sale, as well as dealing with the various environmental, fishery and planning considerations.
There are a range of technologies which are rapidly developing and beginning to gain traction in the UK market. Tidal stream, wave, gasification, solar glass and tile, electric vehicle integration and many other innovative concepts are being developed and pioneered across Britain, led by our dynamic science and technology industries.
We have worked with clients on several such projects, and the breadth and depth of our experience in the energy market makes us ideally placed to assist clients in finding ground-breaking structures to give a solid platform for pioneering projects. We work closely with our Technology and Innovation team to ensure that we are poised to implement even the most ambitious projects.
Developments in recent years have seen the growing democratisation of the energy industry. More than ever before, it is possible for communities to come together and create projects bringing clean energy to their local areas, and re-invest the profits of green energy generation for the benefit of the community as a whole.
We work closely with a number of community groups and investors in ethical, community and green energy projects to help facilitate the development of solar, wind, hydro and other schemes, using innovative fundraising structures such as crowdfunding, mini-bonds and IFISAs. Our lawyers have a detailed understanding of charities, community interest companies (CICs), community benefit societies and other commonly used not-for profit structures as well as conventional corporate configurations to ensure that your project meets the needs of your community and their interests are protected.
As the grid becomes more flexible and traditional baseload power generation declines, there is an increasing need for demand management, including frequency response, STOR, eSTOR, demand response, triad avoidance and peaking power. Each of these project types require careful balancing to ensure that incentives are stacked appropriately to maximize income streams and create viable projects. Tried and tested systems of diesel generation and quick-start gas turbines are increasingly in competition with new schemes and technologies, which face their own challenges including a lack of clarity over available support and frequent shifts in government policy.
Our Energy team has considerable experience assisting with the development, funding and acquisition of such projects, having worked with developers, landowners, funders and aggregators on their projects. We are well equipped to deal with complex arrangements, sites integrated with storage or other generation facilities, portfolios with multiple sites and unusual corporate or financial structures.
As the energy market changes and the grid shifts to a distributed, flexible and smart system, energy storage has a critical role in the future of our energy system. Having worked on battery sites, co-location projects and integrating battery systems with high energy-using businesses, we are well placed to help you take advantage of this market, developing your projects with solid legal foundations. As the market changes and the regulatory context is refined, we will be ideally placed to help you navigate the changes and future-proof your business models.
Funding is a cornerstone of any energy project, as with any business. Our Energy team includes specialists in banking, corporate finance and alternative investment structures. Recent projects have been funded by crowdfunding, community investments, financing from major banks, investment funds, private companies and individuals and numerous other sources. Some of our significant achievements include the first IFISA bond in the UK and the largest community energy financing project in the UK at that time.
The energy from waste (EfW) sector in the UK benefitted from over 15 years of stable investment and growth as a result of local authorities deploying public private partnership (PPP) and private finance initiative (PFI) structures to bring EfW projects to market. Our highly experienced team has advised both public and private sector clients during this period in relation to the development of several complex and high profile EfW projects using these structures. As such, we have a clear understanding of the challenges facing EfW projects and project participants and can therefore provide clear, legally robust and commercially sound advice in relation to issues which may arise during construction, commissioning or operation of an EfW facility.
However, we also understand that the EfW market has fundamentally changed, with new EfW projects targeting the commercial and industrial waste market, meaning they are required to operate on a subsidy free basis. Our experience of assisting clients to structure transactions in the energy sector, together with our experience of developing EfW projects using PPP and PFI structures, means we are well placed to assist market participants in the development and/or operation of commercial EfW facilities.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are being deployed across the UK and worldwide at an increasingly fast pace. With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to be prohibited from 2040, we can expect an acceleration in the development of EVs, EV charging infrastructure and consumer services relating to EVs to be a prominent feature of the transport landscape in coming years. EV2X technology is also likely to assist in the challenges of grid flexibility. Working closely with our Technology and Innovation lawyers, our Energy team is well placed to advise on all aspects of EV infrastructure deployment and operations, including funding, EIS funding, land rights, installation, operations and maintenance, consumer interfaces (including apps and payments), charge points, grid connection, co-location and regulatory considerations.
Acting for Downing LLP on the sale (by its VCT funds) of a significant number of its AD portfolio
Acting on the set up, funding and construction of EV Chargepoint Infrastructure network
Acting for a multinational manufacturer on the installation of a behind-the-meter battery solution at its main UK production facility
Working with Triodos Corporate Finance to advise on crowdfunded IFISA bonds for hydro-electric projects including Dove Renewables and Church Minshull
Advising the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation on the development finance for an LNG power station in Argentina
Advising Chilworth Construction Management Limited on its role in the construction of an energy-from-waste facility in Dundee and Angus
Advising Outlook Energy on its energy market forecasting system, optimisation software and related contracts in the energy trading market
Advising a UK electricity supplier on its supply license requirements and “license lite”
Advising Social and Sustainable Capital on the financing of the acquisition of three community solar PV farms in the West Midlands, the largest community solar transaction to have taken place at the time
Acting for Rendesco Holdings on the reorganisation, fundraising and bond offer of the Renewable Design Company group, a developer of commercial ground-source heat pumps
Advising Biowatt Energy on the financing and construction of several gas-to-grid AD facilities
Advising Zestec Asset Management on a £20m Framework Agreement with major energy investment fund, Next Energy Solar Fund, for the deployment of FIT and subsidy-free commercial rooftop pv installations
Advising Suncredit RP Ventures on several ‘peaking power’ demand generation facilities
Advising on the EU and UK law implications of the capacity market freeze
Advising CTF Solar on the £15m sale of 13.5MW of solar assets to Blackrock
Advising Gamma Energy on £18m of refinancing of two solar farms, Stokes Marsh and Stoneshill
Acting for St Modwen on its participation in the large-scale biomass generation facility and associated district heating system serving Cranbrook new community and Skypark.
Acting for British Solar Renewables on the UK’s first fully-listed solar bond issue (£40m), the first joint venture hub arrangement in Dorset connecting 2 solar farms and a biomass plant under section 22 of the Electricity Act, and various large-scale ground-mounted schemes, including Owls Hatch and Bradenstoke solar farms.