GridX Africa Development to roll out solar and storage mini grid in Africa with funding from Ncondezi Energy

Lux Nova Partners are advising GridX Africa Development, a renewables private power developer, on their investment raise and alliance with Aim-listed Ncondezi Energy as selected lead investor. Investment financing from  both parties and potentially other third parties will enable GridX to develop out its initial portfolio of 15 mini-grid projects (over $20million in capex terms) that will deploy small-medium sized solar and battery storage solutions to serve commercial and industrial businesses across the African continent. 

Projects include those like the smaller solar mini-grid servicing the Singita Faru Faru Lodge in the Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania, with the integration of around 200kWp solar with 522kWh battery systems, replacing an average of 100,000 litres of diesel each year.  

GridX has identified significant market demand for cost effective and reliable power in the African commercial and industrial sectors, and solar and battery storage increasingly makes economic sense against traditional power generation such as diesel generators. Developers with design, finance and operate solutions like GridX are positioned to help expand the sector as demand continues to grow.

The partnership between Ncondezi and GridX complements Ncondezi’s existing presence in the Africa region and its desire to diversify its portfolio to focus on construction-ready captive solar and battery solutions in Africa.

Falling solar panel and battery costs are setting the foundation for a tide of disruptive technology in the African energy markets, allowing African countries to leapfrog to the next generation of sustainable energy supply.

“At the same time, significant investment appetite is growing in the sector as investors increasingly recognise smaller renewable captive generation projects as a source of steady returns,” Ncondezi nonexecutive chairperson Michael Haworth says.

To hear more about the projects, click here for an interview with GridX’s Hanno Pengilly.

Lux Nova advises Leapfrog Finance on groundbreaking solar plus storage deal

The deal has been hailed by Gridserve as one of the UK’s most advanced solar farms heralding a new era of subsidy-free renewable energy.

Leapfrog Finance was supported by Lux Nova Partners to co-fund the landmark partnership between Gridserve and Warrington Borough Council for two large scale solar farms in the UK – a 34.7MWp hybrid solar farm plus 27MW battery storage system at York and a 25.7MWp solar farm near Hull. These pioneering  projects, will supply 100% of the Council’s electricity cleanly, and generate millions of pounds every year to fund essential services and support economic regeneration in Warrington.

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For further details, see:

https://www.pureleapfrog.org/blog/leapfrog-finance-funds-first-council-supply-solar-farm-creating-community-benefit-funds

https://www.gridserve.com/post/breaking-news

Louisa Cilenti of Lux Nova Partners congratulates everyone at GRIDSERVE and Warrington Borough Council for having the vision to undertake this amazing deal. Lux Nova are very pleased to have supported Leapfrog providing £11 million of mezzanine funding for the transaction, and their instrumental role in ensuring the transaction will generate over £2million in community benefit over the life of the project. We are excited to see what future deals can spring from this one.

Claire Hanratty, CEO of Leapfrog has commented that:

“The knowledge and professionalism that Louisa brought to the deal was second-to-none, addressing project financing risks, the complexities of a commercial & local authority transaction and enabling Leapfrog to secure £2.25m in community benefit funds to help local people in the Warrington area. We are enormously proud to partner with Lux Nova.”

Lux Nova is Expanding to Scotland

We are recruiting for a senior projects lawyer to join our growing team, based out of our Edinburgh office. We are looking for a personable, bright and confident individual with solid low carbon and renewables experience, particularly in district heating.

The opportunity would suit someone who is entrepreneurial, works well under their own direction and who wants to grow their practice, but who would also be excited to join an environmentally committed, inspired and friendly team. Remuneration open to negotiation, dependent on candidate.

Please contact Sandy Abrahams for more details: sandy.abrahams@luxnovapartners.com

Lux Nova Continues to Expand with Addition of Disputes Partner

We are very pleased to welcome Stephen Lister to the Lux Nova team and to be expanding our offering to include dispute resolution.

Stephen advises on commercial and regulatory disputes in the renewable and clean energy sector. With more than two decades’ experience, he’s advised on national and cross-border disputes in the High Court, the European Courts in arbitration proceedings and at mediation.  He has extensive experience advising on renewables certification schemes and offshore wind farm navigation rights.  He’s also advised on renewable energy competition, anti-trust and state aid issues, in judicial review and court proceedings in the UK and Europe. However, Stephen also believes in effective claim management – identifying and resolving disputes at an early stage in order to prevent escalation to court proceedings.

We are pleased that our commitment to growing a sustainable and ethical energy practice continues to attract such strong talent, helping us expand our positive impact and the depth and breadth of our offering to clients.

Thanks Again, Legal 500!

Lux Nova Partners ‘is a true boutique sector-leading firm‘. That’s according to one client who values our ability to ‘understand the changing economics of energy schemes and provide commercial insights with practical support to assist transactions‘.

Last year, we said we placed more importance on what our clients say about us than on external rankings. That’s no less true this year. But great client feed-back has lead to further great recognition in our Legal 500 ranking. Four of our lawyers are now recommended, noted as rising stars or as leading individuals.

Thanks to Legal 500 and to all our clients for putting their confidence in us doing things differently!

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Lux Nova Wins ADE Research Consultancy Award

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Lux Nova was delighted to win the ADE’s 2018 Research and Consultancy Award. The award was for our end-to-end legal support to the London Borough of Enfield on the energetik district heating scheme.

Tom Bainbridge and Sandy Abrahams, who collected the award at the ADE’s Annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening, said:

“We’re very proud to receive such industry recognition for our district heating work but thanks must also go to our clients at Enfield Council and the energetik team for such a collaborative effort.”

Energetik was set up by the London Borough of Enfield to revolutionise the market and be a trusted local supplier of energy, providing reliable and environmentally-friendly energy to an anticipated 30,000+ local customers and businesses in a major regeneration of the Lee Valley Regional Park, near Enfield. Our role included supporting the Council to structure and finance this ambitious district heating scheme project, establishing appropriate governance structures and producing all supply chain and energy off-take documentation.

For more information about our district heating work – see our District Heating and Cooling page

For more information about the Association for Decentralised Energy follow this link: The ADE

For more information about energetik follow this link: energetik

Lux Nova Partners to Support BEIS Heat Network Investment Project

Claire Perry (Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth) and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today launched the Heat Networks Investment Programme (HNIP) and announced the appointment of Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management as the Delivery Partner responsible for deployment of £320m of Government support, which in turn should leverage around £1bn of private and other capital, supporting growth of the heat networks market in the UK.

Led by Triple Point, the experienced infrastructure investment management team, the Delivery Partner is formed of a number of professional firms with demonstrable track record of engaging with investors and supporting project developers to deliver a wide range of infrastructure projects. The Delivery Partner is comprised of the following organisations: Triple Point Investment Management LLP, AECOM, Amberside Advisors Ltd, BDO LLP, Ecuity Consulting LLP, Gemserv and Lux Nova Partners Ltd.

Ken Hunnisett, Project Director and Head of Public Sector at Triple Point Management LLP commented on the appointment:

“We are delighted to take on the leadership function with such a capable Delivery Partner team while also providing substantial investment management support. Among other things, our extensive experience and successes in infrastructure investing means that Triple Point is ideally suited to its role in resourcing and facilitating the HNIP Investment Committee, the body responsible for deploying HNIP funding in line with the investment mandate.”

Tom Bainbridge, Founding Partner at Lux Nova Partners Ltd said:

“Lux Nova Partners are delighted to be part of the HNIP delivery partnership. Our team of senior energy lawyers has advised numerous district heating and decentralised energy projects over many years, including many of the largest in the UK. As a principles-based law firm, focussed exclusively on the clean energy sector, we’re looking forward to applying our expertise to the legal aspects of the delivery partner role and to working as part of a multi-disciplinary team intent on driving real growth in investment into heat networks that help drive down emissions and protect customers.”

For further information about Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management visit: www.tp-heatnetworks.org

For further information on the Heat Networks Investment Project launch and the latest announcements can be found here.

We Are Pleased to Announce the Promotion of Nikola Zahariev to Partner

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Since arriving in August 2017, Nikola has significantly contributed to our offering in clean energy M&A and Finance. This has allowed us to continue to expand our client base across a number of low carbon sectors: from international banks and energy developers, to community energy groups, start-ups and fund managers in the UK.

Nikola commented:

“I have enjoyed my first year at Lux Nova tremendously. People want us to succeed because they like what we stand for – as well as what we can offer. It’s the speed and flexibility at which we are able to move within a smaller organisation, the huge variety of work we undertake within the renewables and clean tech sector, the seemingly constant innovation and creativity displayed by the team, and of course the human and professional quality of the people here that really make Lux Nova stand out for me”.

Louisa Cilenti, Head of Energy Finance, said

“We are pleased to recognise Nik’s commitment and high performance, and build on the Lux Nova story. Nik’s promotion is just one part of the firm’s drive to ensure we continue to adapt to the changing dynamics of the energy market so we can address the challenges experienced by our clients, and in the process continue to shape and lead the market.”

To get in touch, please contact us here.

CCC: “Dramatic shift” in Government Policies Needed to Tackle Climate Change

Yesterday, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) published its new report, ‘Reducing UK emissions – 2018 Progress Report to Parliament’, the 10th statutory report to Parliament under the Climate Change Act. Taking stock of progress over the last 10 years, the CCC says the Government must learn the lessons of the last decade if it is to meet its legally-binding targets. It highlights that the public face an unnecessarily expensive deal to make the shift to a low-carbon economy unless the Government urgently puts policies back on track to meet emissions targets. Amongst other things, the CCC highlights that the failure to prioritise low cost options for emissions reductions, such as onshore wind, is penalising customers.

To read Sandy Abrahams’ article, just published by LexisNexis, click here.

Click here to read the CCC’s report.

Dragging the Energy Performance of Buildings Into the Hi-Tech Age

David Short reviews the EPBD for Lexis Nexis

In May, the European Union adopted a revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (“EPBD”). This is the third major revision to this legislation that was first adopted in 2002 to drive improvements in energy efficiency and renewable energy use across the built environment sector. Minor improvements are made to existing provisions on Energy Performance Certificates and minimum energy standards for new buildings and major renovations.

However, the revisions introduce a number of significant new provisions to drag energy performance of buildings into the hi-tech age, as well as requiring Member States to get more serious about the deep building renovation programs that will be needed over the next 30 years to meet climate goals. The EPBD holds implications and opportunities that go well beyond the real estate sector, including for electric vehicles, building automation, IoT devices and the finance and banking sectors. This article explores the changes in more depth in Q&A format.

Click here to view the article.

(This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Environment on 5 June 2018. Click for a free trial of Lexis®PSL.)