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Osborne Clarke advises NatWest on its first smart meter financing for Solarplicity


Written on 9 May 2018

International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised NatWest on the financing of Solarplicity’s first roll-out of SMETS1-compliant smart meters to UK energy customers.

The financing will pave the way for further funding by NatWest of Solarplicity’s smart meter business.

NatWest’s asset finance specialists have been providing funding by way of bilateral and syndicated facilities, Green Bonds and Private Placements, tailored to fit with their clients’ needs, for over 150 years. Their dedicated team covers smart metering, solar PV, biomass, LED lighting, onshore wind, anaerobic digestion and alternative fuel/low-carbon vehicles, and is a long-standing client of Osborne Clarke.

The Solarplicity Group is one of the UK’s leading vertically integrated renewable energy providers, addressing the energy needs of residential and commercial sector customers by focusing on offering lower energy bills for its customers. Solarplicity recently launched a campaign with Community Energy England to end fuel poverty by providing social housing households with solar panels.

David Elbourne, Chief Executive of Solarplicity said: “This transaction represents yet another significant step in the evolution of Solarplicity. We have an ambitious plan in place based on a solid technical solution and an experienced team that is tasked to deliver on our aims of providing to our customers the full benefits of smart metering equipment. NatWest offered an attractive funding solution and we look forward to work further with their team.”

A team of Osborne Clarke project finance specialists acted on this latest transaction, led by Partner Andy Normington and Associate Director Caroline Saul. In addition, Associate Gavin Williams advised on the finance documents, with Partner Alan John, Associate Director Jeremy Godley and Senior Associate Shona Toms advising on all supply, installation and maintenance and services agreements.

Osborne Clarke has an established and well-respected position as one of the leading law firms advising on energy management and consumption transactions. For over 20 years, it has helped clients to seize new opportunities and meet the challenges of making energy generation, management and consumption clean, affordable and secure. The combination of the team’s experience and understanding of the energy sector means they are regularly called upon to support businesses on all aspects of their commercial, regulatory, corporate, finance and construction legal needs.

Pinsent Masons LLP (led by Alan Cassels) acted as Solarplicity’s legal counsel.