Our expert team advises a broad range of clients on all aspects of community energy. This includes advising:

- Utilities and developers on how they can best deliver an appropriate level of community benefit (or local ownership) as part of a proposed project (including advice on what level of community benefit/local ownership might be suitable, as well as the delivery method, and on current Welsh, Scottish and English government policy on the same),

- Local authorities and councils on their involvement in community energy projects and the delivery of community benefits, and

- Community groups on their own community-led projects, as well as their relationships with other interested parties.

We understand and support co-operative aims and principles and the law which regulates this form of jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise, often used (in the form of a community benefit society) for community-led energy projects.

Areas of focus

Our expertise in community energy includes the following:

  • Specific, in-depth, knowledge of applicable legislation and current market practice.
  • Advising on the best structure to meet your objectives.
  • Assisting with the implementation of your chosen structure.
  • Specialist advice on community benefit societies and community interest companies (CICs).
  • Advising on debt and equity fundraisings.
  • M&A and joint ventures.
  • Interacting with applicable regulatory bodies (eg planning authorities and the regulators who oversee certain types of community vehicle).
  • Advising on all other aspects of your project e.g. financing, real estate, planning, grid, power and construction.
  • Advising on associated tax matters.

Advising Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE, an entity co-owned by Power to Change and Big Society Capital) on a complex restructure and refinance involving a series of community interest companies (CICs), each holding an operational solar PV project. We then advised on the sale of these projects to a group of community energy groups (each formed as a coop), returning the assets to community ownership.

Advising Ripple Energy on the structuring of this new, disruptive energy supplier’s unique model, which involves customers co-owning a renewables project through membership of a cooperative, enabling them to secure lower energy prices which directly correlate to the energy yield of the relevant project.

Advising Bretherton Energy on its plans for a community-owned solar and battery storage project.

Advising a major retailer on its partnership with a community energy group and the use of a community benefit society to launch a share offer to raise funds to roll out rooftop solar panels across its real estate portfolio, with the ultimate goal of delivering tangible benefits to the communities local to the stores.

Advising The Resilience Centre, a community renewables developer, on the formation of two community benefit societies and related community share offers, to generate investment for the construction and operation of two wind farms.

Advising Resilient Energy Great Dunkilns on a public offer document to raise £1.4 million in minibonds in order to construct and operate a community wind farm and deliver benefits back to the community local to the project.

Advising Westmill Solar Co-operative, a co-operative, on its constitution and on the structuring and implementation of a €5 million public share offer to raise finances to acquire the 5 MW Westmill solar park, including advice on all relevant exemptions from financial services legislation.

Advising an overseas government on proposed new energy sector community benefit regulations, which entailed advising on models used in the UK, several European jurisdictions and the USA. We were then involved in drafting the relevant legislation through to enactment.

Advising a number of well-known, large-scale developers and utilities on the various Welsh, Scottish and English government policies with regard to community (or local) ownership and on the various models available to them to ensure that they can navigate these policies successfully.

Advising community groups on suitable structures through which they can own and/or benefit from renewable energy projects. Clients include Awel Aman TaweGower Power Co-op CICGwent Energy CICAber Valley Community Turbine and Bedlinog Community.

Meet the team
Camilla Usher-Clark

Camilla Usher-Clark Partner

  • Corporate
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Co-operatives
Elizabeth Dunn

Elizabeth Dunn Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Real Estate
Jonathan Eves

Jonathan Eves Partner

  • Corporate
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
Ross Fairley

Ross Fairley Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Head of Renewable Energy
  • Environment

What others say...

A forte for the group is advising public and private sector clients on procuring, developing and funding innovative projects.
Chambers UK 2023

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