A small Scottish wind developer today announced it has secured a £50 million investment deal that will allow them to advance dozens of small-scale wind projects around Scotland.
The news comes as major financiers from around the world gather in Edinburgh for a two-day conference in financing low-carbon technologies.
e-Gen, a Borders-based business, has secured the funding package from Rockfield Energy Investments LLP, the energy investment team backed by Bregal Capital.
Together they’ll set up a new company – e-Gen Partners Limited – to focus on wind projects in the 500kW to 1500kW band across rural Scotland.
Working primarily with farmers and landowners e-Gen Partners is set to fund the development, construction and operation of hundreds of small-scale wind projects.
Already e-Gen has four sites in the planning pipeline and 25 sites at Heads of Terms stage with individual landowners across Scotland.
The company has developed a unique, sophisticated constraint mapping tool, allowing them to identify areas where the three key factors of wind speeds, planning consent and grid connections are optimised.
e-Gen has also invested significant time and energy into establishing a network of specialist contractors, suppliers and advisors, allowing them to offer a seamless process from application to commissioning.
• A typical site for e-Gen will house between one and three, 55 metre hub height wind turbines. A two turbine site will typically generate 1.5MWh
• The company pays an annual ground rent to the landowner based on the number of turbines, in exchange for a 20-plus year lease of their land.
• Average expected time frames from Heads of Terms to commissioning is 2.5 years
• The company will source turbines of below 1MW which have lower hub heights are less visually intrusive than large scale turbines.
By placing bulk orders with its turbine suppliers in Germany, Denmark and Spain, e-Gen can bring down lead times from order to delivery to just four months.
CEO of e-Gen, Tom Forsyth, said he believed they had a unique offer for landowners and farmers across Scotland who want to avoid taking the risk of development onboard:
“We believe our business model can deliver big benefits to farmers and landowners across rural Scotland, by adding value to their properties and boosting their incomes at no cost or risk to themselves.
“In terms of number or size of turbines we are not typical wind farm developers. Our sector is the community scale project for which planning consents are typically faster and less complex, and visual impact is minimal.
“The investment and support from Rockfield Energy – together with our network of specialist suppliers – will allow us to move quickly so that landowners can capture the certainty of the Feed-in Tariffs before they are reviewed in 2012.”
Martin Pickard, CEO of Rockfield Energy, said:
“We are impressed by e-Gen’s approach to developing small wind projects and their team of specialist contractors and advisors.
We’re pleased to be supporting the company to bring the benefits of renewable energy to hundreds of landowners and local communities through small scale schemes. This investment forms part of our strategy to establish “buy and build” portfolios of renewable assets in the UK.”
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:
“As major financiers from around the world meet this week in Edinburgh, it’s clear that Scottish companies are attracting significant sums of investment and using new incentives, such as the Feed-In Tariffs, to maximise the economic and environmental rewards that our wind resource offers. A model that takes the risk away from landowners and farmers but gives them a guaranteed annual return, will no doubt be attractive to many.”
For further information contact Esther Black at Pagoda PR – firstname.lastname@example.org , 0131 556 0770/07584 474 232 or Martin Pickard, CEO of Rockfield Energy Investments e: email@example.com t: 0207 734 0111
Notes for Editors
2. e- Gen was established in 2009 by Tom Forsyth, James Robson and Asif Godall.
3. Rockfield Energy Investments LLP was formed in 2008 following the combination of Rockland Europe and the management team that worked with Bregal Capital to develop the Zephyr wind farm portfolio. Rockfield comprises a team of energy industry professionals dedicated to sourcing, structuring, investing and managing energy related investments in the UK, Ireland and Western Europe. Rockfield brings both expertise and funding to owners and developers of new and existing projects and companies many of which will be financed through a company jointly owned by Rockfield and Bregal Capital.
4. Bregal Capital is a private equity firm with committed equity funds of more than €2.3billion making investments in buyout and development capital. Rockfield invests funds from Bregal Capital to originate, negotiate, structure and execute transactions in the energy and environmental sector.
5. e-Gen identify potential sites using a three stage process:
• Apply a GIS based constraint map which they have developed and built over the last year. This incorporates all the planning restriction variables from radar to RAMSAR from wind turbines sites to World Heritage Sites, and allows them to eliminate areas where planning consent would be difficult to achieve
• Look at the wind regime on these areas, using a bespoke wind map. This will enable analysis of the wind regime right down to a grid square resolution of 100 square meters.
• After signing Heads of Terms on sites that pass stages 1 and 2, e-Gen use 11kv distribution network plans acquired from the Scottish Distribution Network Operators (DNO) to analyse local thermal capacity issues and from there, and in conjunction with the local DNO, formulate grid connection costs.