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Third green energy scheme is launched

LAW firm Ward Hadaway's Energy group has advised on a third farm-scale renewable energy project within the space of three weeks.

Experts from the Top 100 UK law firm advised JFS & Associates, the UK’s leading farm-scale anaerobic digestion biogas project developer, on an agreement to develop a renewable energy facility at Washfold Farm in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

The transaction was completed just three weeks after Ward Hadaway advised JFS & Associates on two other joint venture agreements at farms in North Yorkshire.

It now means the law firm has advised JFS & Associates on five of these pioneering projects since the start of 2013.

The ventures see JFS link up with farmers and specialist City financiers to construct and operate renewable power generation facilities on local farms.

The projects enable farmers to use naturally occurring materials, including farm waste, for the production of biogas in a contained anaerobic digestion process. The biogas is subsequently converted into green electricity and heat for connection to the local distribution network.

As in other JFS projects, the latest project enables the owners of Washfold Farm to receive additional income from sales of renewable energy as part of the joint venture company, and to use the digestate by-product of the process as a bio-fertiliser.

Mark Whitehead, Partner and Head of the Energy Team at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are delighted to have concluded another project agreement on behalf of JFS & Associates in such a short space of time.

“Our understanding of energy projects, and in particular the AD sector, allowed us to conclude the project within a very challenging timescale. Our relationship with JFS, coupled with the expertise and experience of our team, ensured that documents could be negotiated and concluded efficiently.

“This latest project further expands the JFS & Associates’ portfolio of generation assets, having completed five projects since the start of 2013 alone, and supports Iona Capital in their funding of specialist anaerobic digestion projects in the UK.”

Matthew Flint, director at JFS & Associates, said: “This is a terrific way to round off what has been a fulfilling and productive 12 months for us.

“It was a pleasure working with Mark and the team at Ward Hadaway again on this project.

“They demonstrated their ability to react quickly to provide a fantastic service and to ensure we were able to meet our timescales on this project.

“It has been a great benefit to our business to be able to rely on the expertise and experience of Mark and his team to ensure that we are able to roll out our pipeline of projects as quickly as we have.”

This latest project comes after a particularly strong year for the Energy Team at Ward Hadaway.

Besides the schemes for JFS & Associates, the team has completed numerous transactions for several other developers regionally and nationally. These include advising in connection with the first phase of energy from waste project in Croydon, South London a biomass scheme in Leicestershire, and several wind projects in Yorkshire and the Midlands.

The Energy Team was also involved in advising Seneca Global Energy on its acquisition of Caird Bardon Ltd, which operates the landfill site and recycling centre at Peckfield near Leeds, as well as working on a range of renewable energy projects including wind and solar PV, anaerobic digestion, and energy from waste.

Mark Whitehead said: “2013 was a very busy year for Ward Hadaway’s Energy team. We are looking forward to building on this experience by working with several developers on a range of other projects in 2014.”

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