Burges Salmon’s renewable energy team advises on pioneering co-owned windfarm scheme

June 30, 2020

The UK’s first consumer-owned onshore wind farm project has been launched with support from renewable energy experts at Bristol-headquartered national law firm Burges Salmon.

Ripple Energy has been giving individual households the power to combat climate change and to make living a low-carbon lifestyle easier through clean energy ownership since it started three years ago.

Now, in a unique move, Ripple is to develop and manage the construction of new onshore renewable energy projects whose ownership is then sold to consumers who take up membership in a managed co-operative.

These consumers then receive their electricity directly from the projects through supply partner Co-op Energy, powered by Octopus Energy.

Ripple Energy, which was founded by Sarah Merrick, is among a growing portfolio of ground-breaking businesses at the forefront of the renewable energy market supported by Burges Salmon.

The London-based firm’s renewables team advised on the legal aspects of Ripple’s ground-breaking model, including forming the co-operative which consumers will invest the Graig Fatha wind farm in South Wales, and negotiating and drafting its consumer contracts. 

Shares in the co-operative that owns the pilot project, which is expected to become fully operational next year, will be bought by around 2,000 consumers whose electricity will be generated by the wind farm.

The Burges Salmon team was led by head of Renewable Energy Ross Fairley and Camilla Usher-Clark, who leads the firm’s corporate energy team, with support from senior associate Emma Andrews and solicitor Briony Barber.

Ross Fairley, pictured, said: “We have an established reputation for helping innovators and disruptors in the renewable energy sector, and we were delighted when Sarah – who we’ve known for several years through our work in onshore wind – came to us to help make Ripple a reality.

“We’ve been working with Sarah and the Ripple team for some time to get to this stage, and the whole team was really proud to see the launch take place. It’s a fantastic concept that promotes green energy and helps the UK on its way towards achieving the 2050 Net Zero target.” 

Ripple founder and CEO Sarah Merrick added: “The support we’ve had from the Burges Salmon team has been absolutely invaluable. They saw the potential in Ripple when we were not much more than an idea on the back of an envelope. We really couldn’t have done it without their flexibility, creativity and experience.”

Advising Ripple with the project follows hot on the heels of Burges Salmon’s work with another long-standing client Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, on a joint development agreement with solar developer UK Power Associates.

The agreement cements Statkraft’s first venture into UK solar development and will complement its extensive UK onshore wind development pipeline, which already has around 400MW in planning.

Three sites have already been identified for potential development through the partnership which would produce more than 300MW.

Burges Salmon’s net zero services team also recently hosted a virtual roundtable under the title The road to Net Zero: The role of hydrogen to examine the shifts needed to promote hydrogen and to make sure that it plays a significant role in helping the UK meet its Net Zero target.

It was the latest in a series of Net Zero-focused roundtable events launched at the start of the year to address the challenges and opportunities of achieving the government’s 2050 target.


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email info@bristol-business.net for more information.