Energy and Renewables

Carson McDowell is a leading provider of legal services to the energy and renewables sector in Northern Ireland. Our energy and renewables team has been involved in virtually every aspect of the development of the energy sector in Northern Ireland since the privatisation of the electricity industry in 1992. The team has unparalleled industry knowledge and expertise enabling it to act in large corporate transactions as well as advising on sector specific issues. The team brings together corporate, commercial, real estate, construction, finance and dispute resolution lawyers from across Carson McDowell to ensure we provide a full range of services.

Our client base is diverse and includes renewable power generators, financial institutions, government-funded organisations and utilities. Leading clients include ESB Wind Development, SSE, Bord Gais, First Flight Wind, and NIE.

What we do

  • Established windfarm projects and developments
  • Off-take arrangements, connection agreements, power purchase agreements and turbine supply agreements
  • Regulatory, competition, public procurement and European law issues
  • The renewables obligation, the climate change levy and emissions trading
  • All aspects of the SEM
  • Joint ventures, investments, restructuring and share and asset acquisitions and disposals
  • Banking and project finance issues including secured and unsecured borrowing and the structuring of bank facilities
  • Disputes and representing clients in arbitrations, expert determinations and mediations
  • Land acquisitions and disposals
  • Planning permissions, consents and environmental issues

What Others Say About Us

Chambers and Partners UK 2020

What the team is known for

Acts for a wide range of clients including network operators, energy developers and funders. Able to handle renewables and waste issues, as well as traditional energy mandates. In addition to its expertise in wind and solar power contracts, it is valued for the environmental and planning expertise available across the firm and its handling of project financing matters.

Work highlights

Acted for the target in Foresight's acquisition of Simple Power, including its portfolio of 52 single sub-250 kW onshore wind turbines.

Notable practitioners

Neasa Quigley heads the energy department and is recognised by sources as one of the few specialists who "does exclusively energy work in Northern Ireland." Her practice encompasses commercial and regulatory advice, and a source says: "She is very practical, easy to deal with and a most knowledgeable person."

The Legal 500 2020

What the team is known for

Carson McDowell has advised on a range of significant regional energy projects, including the construction of gas distribution networks and power stations, and the sale, acquisition and project financing of wind turbine and AD projects. The team has recently expanded its client base to include a number of energy sector businesses and utilities companies.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Neasa Quigley specialises in M&A and equity funding in the sector. Gary McGhee and Emma Cooper advise on the planning and property aspects of energy projects.

Highlights

Representing the owners of Simple Power Limited, which has the largest portfolio of 250k single wind turbines in Northern Ireland, in its sale to Foresight Group.

Acting for Northern Ireland Electricity Networks on its £350m bond issue to support an investment programme.

Advising the supply and distribution sides of the Firmus Energy business across a broad range of energy-related matters.

Advising SONI on the North-South Interconnector project connecting the electricity grids of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Advising Renewable Energy Systems on the judicial review of a planning decision in respect of its proposed seven-turbine wind farm (known as Barr Cregg wind farm).

Significant clients

Simple Power Limited, Northern Ireland Networks Limited, Evermore Energy, Firmus Energy, System Operator for Northern Ireland, Renewable Energy Systems Limited, Scotia Gas Networks Limited, Elgin Energy, Click Energy, Connective Energy.

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