Renewables projects – a series of articles with Ashfords Energy & Waste Team
Richard Palmer was invited to contribute to a series of articles written by Ashfords. Ashfords’ specialist Energy & Waste Team advise clients on all legal matters relating to renewable energy, energy from waste and energy infrastructure – from the initial structuring and financing through to construction and operation.
The articles assess where the opportunities and challenges lie for owners of renewable energy assets or for those looking to invest in a scheme. We give a summary of each article and link to them on the Ashfords website below:
Retrofitting to improve financial performance
This looks at the investment opportunities for owners of existing renewables assets including checking and improving performance of existing assets, improving metering arrangements and assessing demand on site before fitting new technology such as battery storage. Projects need reviewing on an individual basis to ensure options are examined and costed appropriately.
Improving the financial performance of an asset
This looks at what renewable asset owners can do to improve financial performance without physically altering the scheme. Again, Richard encourages a review of tariffs and PPA agreements – along with reviewing any finance arrangements and costs. We’d also add here, that recent PV HealthChecks are also highlighting potential insurance and business rates risks, as well as some projects with inappropriately expensive insurance.
Monitoring O&M effectiveness and other operational costs
This is a wider look at other steps that can improve the financial performance of renewables assets. This includes legal obligations and planned maintenance. A proactive asset manager is essential, and an independent benchmark or review of their performance is crucial to ensure you are getting the best on-going service.
Ongoing Regulatory Compliance: Ofgem Audit
The Ofgem audit is essential to operate with renewable scheme finance benefits. Asset owners must be prepared and take appropriate measures to ensure they give convincing answers to the queries of the auditors. This requires engineering, commercial and legal due diligence by the asset owner.
Ongoing Regulatory Compliance: Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive
In the final article, Richard and the Ashfords Team look at the Environment Agency (EA) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), and what can be done to mitigate risks of enforcement action. It starts with careful contractor selection but continues throughout the life of the project including a written risk management system.