In-depth knowledge of the renewable energy sector, combined with specialist corporate and commercial property expertise, has enabled the South West-based legal team at Murrell Associates to secure prized finance deals for three wind farm projects in north Devon and one in Leicestershire over the past year – with plans already in place to develop several more across the country.
Working hand in hand firstly with One Wind Renewables and then also with their joint venture partners Porterledge Renewable and Hallmark Powergen, one of Murrell Associates’ corporate specialists Chris Wills has been able to advise on the funding packages made available for the 500kWp single turbine projects by Cardiff-based Julian Hodge Bank (including the 500kWp turbines at Dilland Farm, Holsworthy, and Cattows Farm, Leicestershire).
With expectations running high that the Government will further reduce the Feed-in-Tariff, it has never been more important for developers to construct and commission their projects as quickly as possible to ensure that they meet the accreditation deadline.
Chris says, “In these cases the collaborative approach taken by all parties involved has meant that the time between the offer of a funding facility by the bank and the drawdown of funds has reduced for each project, and I am confident that this trend will continue.”
Following the success of their first collaboration at Gearns Farm, Holsworthy, Chris was approached by the shareholders and directors involved with the idea of funding several more projects with Julian Hodge Bank on a similar basis.
Chris explains, “Using the experience gained from the first transaction we were able to propose a suitable structure for the bank and their solicitors, Blake Morgan LLP, to scrutinise.
“Following a meeting in Cardiff between the key stakeholders, Julian Hodge Bank approved a funding proposal based upon this structure that has so far enabled the group to finance their first four projects – with more in the pipeline. The nature of the facilities being offered by the bank demonstrates a step-change in the marketplace, where funding from wealthy individuals or investment vehicles were previously the only sources of funding for projects of this nature.”
Simon Coles, a director of One Wind Renewables Limited, adds “Chris at Murrell Associates has provided an invaluable contribution to the funding of our first wind turbine project. By working closely together on successive projects it has enabled us to accelerate the process by which project capital can be drawdown from the bank, which consequently allows us to meet the tight construction deadlines.”
Murrell Associates has wide-ranging experience of advising both developers and landowners on projects in the renewable energy sectors, combining the firm’s commercial property and corporate expertise with individual solicitor’s specialist sector knowledge.