17 March 2015

Energy sector experts from Burges Salmon have advised on over 2GW of solar PV installations in the UK since the introduction of the first feed-in tariff in April 2010.

From the first wave of developers seeking accreditation under the original feed-in tariff regime to the new wave of investors seeking legal solutions to the comparative complexity of commercial roof top solar, Burges Salmon has been at the forefront of the market every step of the way.

With government intervention in the feed-in tariff, degression of the Renewables Obligation (RO) and uncertainty around Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocations impacting investor confidence, the ground mounted market required innovative funding solutions to support the traditional project finance model.

Burges Salmon has helped numerous developers reach financial close by various means including forward sales to yieldcos, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) led funding models, devising bankable private wire Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to augment income streams and advising on the establishment of green bonds.

However, set against the comparatively mature ground mounted and residential roof top markets, the commercial roof top market continues to require innovation to present it with an attractive legal proposition.

Burges Salmon partner Euan Bremner, who leads the firm's Solar team, comments: “The attractiveness of the asset class to investment funds is not in question but standardisation will be the key for developers to present attractive portfolios to the market. We are evolving various templates and models with our clients to address the competing requirements of the various parties to a commercial roof top deal.'

Having recently advised Marks & Spencer on the UK’s largest roof top solar scheme – a 6.1MW installation at its Castle Donington distribution centre – Burges Salmon thoroughly understands the competing interests of the various stakeholders in a commercial roof top project.

Euan concludes: “The M&S deal had the perfect fit of counterparties. A willing landlord, a robust tenant and offtaker (in Marks & Spencer) and a sophisticated developer and funder (in Amber Infrastructure). Early counterparty engagement is essential to understanding which model may be best suited to a particular project.'

Key contact

Euan Bremner

Euan Bremner Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Head of Scottish Real Estate
  • Head of Northern Irish Real Estate

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