Dealmakers: Storage project finance spiking

By BEN COOK

  • Storage-related project finance generating significant work for lawyers
  • White & Case and CMS among most active firms in recent storage deals
  • Recent high-profile deals in UK, US, Australia, Belgium and Germany

White & Case and CMS have been among the most active law firms in the energy storage sector in recent months, advising on deals in the UK, Australia, Belgium and Germany. 

Energy storage-related project finance, in particular, has been a lucrative source of work for law firms recently.

White & Case advised on the project financing of a 150MW storage project in Australia, while a London and Singapore-based team from the firm advised on the financing of a Nala Renewables storage project in Belgium.

Meanwhile, CMS advised Field on the financing of a 110MW portfolio of UK storage assets, while a Berlin-based team from the firm advised on Sunlight Group Energy Storage Systems’ acquisition of a German battery and power systems trader.

Elsewhere, a US-based Norton Rose Fulbright team advised on the financing of 330MWh of standalone storage projects in California, and Gowling WLG advised on the project finance of a 99MW storage system in the UK. 

Energy Storage Report brings you a breakdown of six high profile deals, highlighting the legal teams involved and the key players in those teams.

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Deal 1: North American Development Bank and Siemens Financial Services, Inc close a US$78.2 million debt financing for 330MWh of EnerSmart Storage standalone battery storage projects in California.

Legal advisers: Norton Rose Fulbright advised North American Development Bank and Siemens Financial Services.

Key players: Norton Rose Fulbright’s core deal team consisted of Deanne Barrow (San Francisco), Todd Alexander (New York), Laura Kaplan (New York) and Grace Choi (New York).

Other advisers: The Norton Rose Fulbright team also included Marian Baldwin Fuerst (New York), Robert Shapiro (Washington, DC), Andrew Skroback (New York), Amy Mitchell (Austin), Josh Morton (Houston), Christy Rivera (New York) and Richard Wright (New York).

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Deal 2: Battery storage development company Field secured £47m in financing from investment firm Triple Point Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Company (TEEC) and an additional £30 million of equity funding from early-stage investor Plural, to build a 110MW portfolio of battery storage assets.

Legal advisers: Field was advised by CMS

Key players: The CMS team was led by London-based corporate partner John Finnemore and energy and climate change partner Louise Dalton.

Other advisers: The CMS teal also included Katie Duffield, leading on the financing, and Philip Duffield leading on construction and O&M arrangements. The wider team included Hannah Merrick and Christopher Thorp (finance); Sophie Curran, Nicoletta Francis and Mumuksha Singh (corporate); Freddie May and Sabrina Polito (energy); Ollie Ratnatunga and Tom Ballard (projects); and Marcin Patrzala and Louise Brymer (real estate).

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Deal 3: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DNB Bank ASA and Westpac Banking Corporation, as senior lenders, provided project financing for the construction, operation and maintenance of the approximately 150 MW/300 MWh Riverina Energy Storage Project to be located in Darlington Point, New South Wales, Australia.

Legal advisers: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DNB Bank ASA and Westpac Banking Corporation were advised by White & Case.

Key players: Sydney-based project finance partner Joel Rennie led the White & Case team.

Other advisers: The White & Case team included associates Isabella Jarrett, Danielle Ingham and Shika Hegde.

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Deal 4: ING Belgium NV/SA provided project financing to Nala Renewables, a joint venture between Trafigura Group and IFM Investors, for the development of a battery energy storage system at Nyrstar’s zinc smelting facility in Balen, Belgium. 

Legal advisers: ING Belgium NV/SA was advised by White & Case

Key players: The White & Case team included London-based partner Carina Radford, as well as Singapore-based partners Charles McConnell and Jamie Franklin.

Other advisers: The White & Case team also included London associates Miles Tonkin and Paddy Mohen, as well as Singapore-based associate Wei Bin Quek.

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Deal 5: Pacific Green Technologies secured project finance for its 99.98MW battery energy storage system development in Kent in the UK in the form of a senior debt facility agreed with merchant banking group Close Leasing Limited.

Legal advisers: Gowling WLG advised Pacific Green Technologies.

Key players: Gowling WLG’s Dubai-based head of international projects and co-head of Africa group Jonathan Brufal advised on the deal.

Other advisers: The Gowling WLG team also included partners Nath Curtis (project finance lead), Gareth Baker (corporate), Helen Emmerson (real estate), and Gus Wood (offtake). The team also included principal associates Robert Currall (project contracts) and Siân Dewing (corporate) and associate Dan O’Donnell (finance).

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Deal 6: Sunlight Group Energy Storage Systems, a technology company specialising in ‘off-road’ energy storage solutions, acquires 51 per cent of the share capital of A. Müller GmbH Industriebatterien-Stromversorgungssysteme. 

Legal advisers: Sunlight Group was advised by CMS and Bech-Bruun.

Key players: The CMS team led by Berlin-based M&A partners Dr Igor Stenzel and Ralf Kurney, while the Bech-Bruun team was led by Copenhagen-based M&A partner Niels Kornerup

Other advisers: The CMS team also include Netherlands-based lawyers Mark Ziekman, Robin Sijbesma and Robert Jong, while the Bech-Bruun team included Emil Dencker Steenberg.

Image (Clockwise from top left): Louise Dalton (CMS); Joel Rennie (White & Case); Dr Igor Stenzel (CMS); Niels Kornerup (Bech-Bruun); Carina Radford (White & Case); Deanne Barrow (Norton Rose Fulbright); Jonathan Brufal (Gowling WLG)

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