18 Aug, 2011

SNR Denton announced on August 17th that it has successfully advised Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited (Lightsource) in its acquisition and development of eleven of the largest solar PV panel installations in the UK. Lightsource was funded by Octopus Investments.


Project negotiations were completed under intense time pressure due to the UK Government’s decision in March to substantially reduce financial incentives for large-scale solar from August 1, 2011 onwards. It is estimated that no more than 40 large-scale solar projects completed before the August deadline.


James Lee, Managing Director of Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited said, “The Government’s decision in March meant we had to work fast to secure and develop key projects, negotiating numerous deals at the same time. We couldn’t have achieved such a successful outcome without the commitment, knowledge and flexibility of the team at SNR Denton.”


The projects included the largest ground-mounted solar farm in the UK – the 4.99MWp Hawton solar farm in Nottinghamshire – and the largest roof-mounted solar project in the UK – a 1.6MWp facility on the roof of global plastics manufacturer, Promens. The other projects included:


•             the 1.9MWp Sandhill Park Estate solar farm in Somerset;

•             the 4.9MWp ground mounted solar facility at Howton in Cornwall;

•             the 4.97MWp Wilburton solar farm in Cambridgeshire;

bull;             the 1.4MWp ground mounted solar facility at the disused Wheal Jane tin mine in Cornwall;

•             two ground mounted solar facilities of 1.1MWp and 1.4MWp on the land of The Butterfly and Wildlife Park near Spalding, Lincolnshire;

•             a 0.7MWp ground mounted facility at Howbery Business Park in Oxfordshire;

•             a 1.7MWp ground mounted facility at Benbole Farm in Cornwall; and

•             a 4.5MWp ground mounted facility in Marston, Lincolnshire.


Lucille De Silva, who led the SNR Denton team said, “Helping Lightsource become one of the UK’s largest solar developers in such a short space of time was an exciting and challenging engagement for us.”


SNR Denton was Lightsource’s legal adviser for all eleven large scale projects, including the negotiation of turnkey construction contracts, leases, project transfer agreements and power purchase agreements, and detailed advice on the Feed in Tariff and electricity licensing regimes. The project was a cross-departmental effort across the firm’s Energy, Real Estate, Construction and Corporate practices.


The SNR Denton team was led by partner Lucille De Silva, assisted by Joe Burfitt, Construction partner John Woolley and Real Estate partner Madeleine Smallwood.


SNR Denton’s Chambers UK Band 1 Energy and Natural Resources practice is part of our 350-lawyer global energy, transport & infrastructure team. It has substantial expertise across the energy markets, including oil & gas, conventional generation plant, nuclear and renewables. It is a leading legal service provider to the solar industry. It has advised industry clients on all aspects of solar project development including site acquisition, transmission distribution and connection agreements, planning, permitting, leasing, partnership and corporate structuring, construction and equipment supply (including EPC), and incentive, subsidy, FIT and regulatory issues. The firm has lawyers focused on solar projects and advisory work across the globe, including in the US, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa.



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