BayernLB finance acquisition of wind farm in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland has some of the best wind resource in the UK, and historically benefitted from a generous ROC regime.

In 2018, we advised Bayerische Landesbank (“BayernLB”) on its acquisition financing for 7 onshore wind turbines in Northern Ireland. BayernLB, a bank owned by the federal state of Bavaria and the Bavarian savings banks, is a leading financial services provider focused on serving its customers, including SMEs and large corporates, savings banks and public authorities as well as customers in the real estate industry. BayernLB is an experienced and committed lender to the renewable energy sector, having for many years provided financing solutions to renewable energy companies focused on solar, wind, hydro, solar thermal and geothermal technologies, all across Europe and North America. One of BayernLB’s special areas of expertise within the renewable energy sector is the UK market where the bank has financed projects with a total capacity of over 2 gigawatts.

The purchaser (a major UK-based renewable energy fund) acquired the assets from the original Northern Irish developer. The transaction was significant, as it reinforced the fact that good quality assets (even if small in size) if professionally managed and constructed, can be aggregated into portfolios for improved economies of scale, thereby attracting interest from significant financial investors and lenders.

We carried out legal due diligence into the assets, liaised with the technical and insurance advisers and advised the bank (together with local counsel, who we coordinated) on the entire spectrum of finance-related documentation across four jurisdictions.

This instruction was our first for a “high street” bank and a significant achievement for a firm of our size, in a market place where usually only the largest firms are appointed by traditional lenders.

Since financial close, we have continued working with BayernLB, ensuring that the project reflects the investment standing that is required, and assisting with the ongoing maintenance and insurance arrangements.

BayernLB commented:

“We highly appreciated Lux Nova’s efficient way of working as well as their customer-oriented focus and are looking forward to concluding further transactions with them as Legal Advisor in the future.”

First utility scale wind farm in Jordan

A first of kind and a ground breaking project in many respects, the 117MW Tafila wind farm in Jordan was the start of the journey for Lux Nova.

The founding partners, Tom, Louisa and Sandy worked together closely over a number of years on every legal aspect of the project: from power purchase, construction, O&M, equity investment to project finance. It was during journeys back and forth to Jordan that some “blue sky” thinking was done and where the idea of a boutique and dedicated renewable law firm was formed. Learn more about our journey here.

Tafila Wind Farm was the first wind farm to reach operation in Jordan, in September 2014 (and was inaugurated by King Abdullaj II in December 2015). It was one of the first and largest windfarms in the Middle East when it started generating. A truly global project, it was equity financed by a consortium of Inframed Infrastructure, Masdar and EP Global Energy and debt financed by a consortium of funders including the International Finance Corporation and the European Investment Bank for the sum of $221 million debt.

We negotiated the power off-take, grid connection and Government support agreements developing a template PPA which was subsequently used on the roll out of projects across the country (including the Shamsuna solar farm) and formed templates for PPAs in other countries within the region. We also negotiated a full turnkey integrated Design Build Operate & Maintain contract with Vestas, the construction, operation and management contractor who supplied the Vestas V112-3MW turbines and completed the full suite of project finance documentation with the consortium of primary lenders.

As a dedicated team throughout project development, we worked closely with the project developer to deliver this seminal project and continue to advise through various contract variations and equity sales, an example of joining and continuing with the client on their journey, one of the most rewarding types of projects!