Energy Law Team

Energy

Our Energy team is well-equipped with the knowledge and industry experience to meet your needs in the Energy sector. Our Energy lawyers are drawn from specialists in all relevant legal disciplines, so we are able to provide a broad range of cutting-edge legal advice. With experience in all aspects of generation, distribution, construction and financing of Energy projects across a wide range of technologies, our expert lawyers will guide you through all steps of your project with understanding and insight into your business and sound understanding of market practice.

We are at the forefront of developments in the field and frequently advise on new project or business structures, as well as emerging technologies and creative financing solutions. Whatever your requirements, our Energy team will give you the incisive, commercial and knowledgeable advice you require.

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Renewable Energy 

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 renewable energy experience includes working with some of the UK's largest 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 renewable energy market and have excellent relationships with intermediaries, DNOs and technical advisers. We are members of Regen SW. 

Solar 

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 now 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 group consolidations and institutional investments. We act for developers, funders, equity investors, landowners and aggregators amongst others, and are well versed in assisting clients on any side of the table. We also have a good deal of experience in dealing with solar thermal sites.

Wind

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. 

Anaerobic Digestion

AD and biogas facilities give the advantage of allowing you to combine effective waste management with the generation of renewable power and heat. AD sites 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 will closely correlate to the quality of your feedstock and operational support, getting effective documentation in place early on is critical to the long-term security and profitability of your 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 byproducts, 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 riskier developments.

Hydro-Electric

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 and planning considerations. 

Emerging Technologies

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.

Community Energy

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 even 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 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. 

Demand Response & Smart Grid

As the grid becomes more flexible and traditional, baseload power generation declines, there seems to be an increasing need for demand generation, including frequency response, STOR, eSTOR, demand response, triad avoidance and peaking power. Each of these projects requires 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 also find themselves 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 demand generation 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. 

Energy Storage & Batteries

As the energy market changes and the grid shifts to a distributed, flexible and smart system, energy storage seems set to have 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 budding market, cementing your projects with solid legal foundations. As the market changes and inevitable regulatory changes come into force, we will be ideally placed to help you navigate the changes and future-proof your business models. We are also able to assist more tried and tested technologies using hydro and pneumatic systems of storage, which will likely have an important role of getting the balance of the energy networks in the UK right as demand rises 

Energy Sector Funding & Investment

Funding is a cornerstone of any Energy project, as with any business. Our Energy team includes specialists in banking, funding corporate finance and alternative investments structures to make sure that whatever your funding needs, we have it covered. 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.  

Energy from Waste

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. 

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Extensive knowledge and client management skills
Legal 500 2015

News

Recent experience

  • 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. 
  • Acting for Mole Valley Farmers on its joint venture Farmers Power Station to offer renewable energy solutions to its clients.
  • Advising Finnvest in respect of an investment in certified emissions reductions (CER) to support a biomass project in Thailand.
  • Acting for Veolia Water Systems on a large-scale AD project.
  • Acting for the Llechwedd Consortium on a significant onshore wind farm in North Wales, including the joint venture arrangements.
  • Acting for a brewery and for a landowner on two separate hydro schemes on major UK rivers.
  • Acting for Storm Energy GmbH on its acquisition of solar assets in the UK.
  • Acting for Gamma Solutions S.L. on its acquisitions and subsequent disposals of 12.4 MW Chisbon solar farm and 9.5MW Wilton solar farm, and the more recent acquisition of Priors Byne and Sowerby Lodge solar farms. 
  • Acting for Triodos Renewables plc on its 2014 Share Issue to further develop its on-shore wind portfolio.
  • Acting for Dart Renewables and for TLS Hydro on their bond issues to further develop their respective hydro projects.  
  • Acting for Downing LLP on financing a number of large-scale ground-mounted solar farms and an anaerobic digestion facility. 
  • Acting for Clinton Devon Estates on its 2.1MW and 4.9MW solar farms.