OST Energy (OST), a leading independent engineering consultancy, has worked with international solar energy provider Wirsol Energy Limited and German bank BayernLB to provide technical due diligence and independent engineering support for two UK solar PV portfolios with a combined capacity of 107MW.
OST has been engaged by Wirsol since August 2016 to deliver a full suite of pre-construction technical due diligence services, subsequent construction monitoring and take-over phase support for a portfolio of 10 ground mount PV assets totaling 61MW. In addition, during the refinancing of this portfolio, which closed successfully in January this year, OST acted on behalf of lender BayernLB, supplying detailed technical reports to inform a non-recourse loan of £46 million.
This latest project follows on from OST’s work with Wirsol and BayernLB in early 2016, facilitating the successful financing and construction of a previous 45MW portfolio, consisting of nine solar sites across the UK. Projects in the two portfolios were constructed either by Wirsol or by third party contractors.
Each of Wirsol’s 19 UK solar projects – either completed or currently under construction – qualifies for the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme. Identification and mitigation of technical risk throughout the asset lifecycle – from financing and construction to operations – was critical in securing long-term debt.
“Wirsol, BayernLB and OST have developed an excellent working relationship which has allowed these substantial financing deals to complete within tight schedules,” said Simon Turner, Director, OST Energy.
“Despite the time pressure to construct within RO deadlines, our site inspection teams have identified some of the Wirsol-constructed projects as amongst the best we have seen in the UK from a construction quality standpoint. We look forward to continuing our work with the Wirsol team in the UK and internationally as they bring their construction pipeline to fruition.”
Mark Hogan, Managing Director, Wirsol, added: “OST’s independent engineering and due diligence support has been essential in verifying that our assets under construction not only meet the standards expected by our lender BayernLB, but will also continue to set a benchmark for operational and financial performance in the coming years.”
Karin Schramm, Senior Director of Project Finance at BayernLB, commented: “BayernLB has a long and successful history of providing long-term finance within the renewables sector. We have now financed well in excess of 3GW globally, and working with strategic partners such as OST Energy and the Wircon/Wirsol group is key."
“We are delighted to have closed the financing of these two UK solar portfolios and now look forward to new projects with OST Energy and the Wircon/Wirsol group, both in the UK and further afield, to further enhance our excellent relationships with both teams”.
Wirsol | http://www.wircon.eu
Bayerische Landesbank | http://www.bayernlb.de