Renewable Energy – Guide to identifying opportunities for clients in Scotland
In Scotland there is currently a lot of commercial activity in the renewables sector. The Scottish Parliament has passed into law ambitious targets for the generation of clean energy and carbon emissions reductions, and the Scottish and UK Parliaments have introduced a number of financial incentives to encourage activity and all of this is creating a vibrant market which is attracting significant inward investment.
Here is a summary of the current activity in Scotland:
- High profile new technologies are being developed by Scottish companies and Universities.
- Orkney’s world class marine testing centre, EMEC, is in great demand.
- Europe’s largest onshore windfarm is at Whitelees near Glasgow.
- The Crown Estate is granting leases of Scottish shores to developers (the current round of grants is often referred to as “Round 3”).
- A new financial incentive scheme (the feed-in tariffs) is giving investors, banks and developers confidence to progress new projects.
- Hundreds of new wind farms, hydro schemes etc are in the planning system and the construction phases.
- Farmers and estate owners are diversifying into renewable energy.
- Land agents are aggressively seeking sites.
- Technical assessment (wind speed, hydrology, ground evaluation) is a rapidly growing global industry in which Scottish companies have leading expertise.
- Civil and electrical engineers are in great demand.
- Factories are putting up wind turbines to generate cheaper electricity.
- Rising awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility complements this activity.
- Housing associations are considering combined heat and power and solar PV as tools to help them meet quality standards.
- Rural communities are developing projects to provide funds for regeneration.
- Glasgow has been identified as a “Super City” in terms of renewable energy expertise.
- The transmission system is undergoing a major upgrade.
- Health & Safety best practice is advancing apace.
bto is ideally placed to help you identify and exploit opportunities for your clients.
Our team is experienced in dealing with projects in the wind, hydro-electric and biomass sectors. The team can handle sizeable ventures, but also has particular expertise in smaller or community based projects, particularly in relation to land options, leases and project finance.
As a full service law firm, bto can draw on a wide range of expertise. This includes advice on the legal issues that might arise in the planning process, in relation to property, employment and banking & finance.
We are retained by a very active lender in several current projects involving the financing of the construction and operation of on-shore wind farms and hydro schemes in Scotland including a number of community projects.
- We act for several farming, commercial and community developers of wind farms, hydro schemes, solar installations and biomass plants on all legal aspects of their projects including starting up, reviewing grid arrangements, advising on planning law aspects, negotiating key contracts and appointments and advising on all aspects of funding, be that grants, community loans, project finance bank debt or private equity and the interplay of these.
- Advising lenders and community groups on the compatibility of grants and the feed-in tariffs (FIT), and on some of the more difficult issues arising from the FIT scheme.
- We have considerable experience in acting for landowners, operators and funders in the negotiation of complex land options and leases.
- In both urban and rural projects, we have advised on oversail agreements, from the perspective of each of the parties that are typically interested in such agreements, including developers, operators and funders.
- Advising companies on the terms of the engagement of energy merchants to supply them with renewable energy.
- Advising clients on post-commissioning health & safety issues.
- Acting in a substantial litigation involving an off-shore wind farm.
- Planning Appeals to the Court of Session and other planning disputes.