Institutional investment is a key factor in the ambition of the wind energy sector to become a secure, investment-grade asset class, and large scale portfolio acquisitions continue to strengthen this position. Likewise, the ability of wind energy to deliver long term, reliable returns is essential for insurance players, such as Aviva, supporting a global client base.
In order to ensure that Aviva’s newly acquired 85.5MW UK wind portfolio - consisting of the 15MW Jacks Lane, 10MW Woolley Hill, 18MW Den Brook and 17.5MW Turncole wind farms, and the 25MW Minnygap wind farm which was added to the portfolio in 2017 - would deliver long term benefits, RINA was engaged to provide an independent perspective that would help mitigate project risks for a period encompassing the acquisition, construction and early operational phases.
Prior to the acquisition, RINA acted on behalf of Aviva as Technical Advisor, providing technical due diligence, yield analysis and contractual support services to inform the purchase of the portfolio. This work allowed RINA to advise on measures to mitigate performance risk and ensure that each wind farm was well placed to deliver against long term expectations.
RINA undertook a comprehensive review of all technical and commercial aspects including planning issues and land rights as well as WTG supply and O&M contracts, and supported the negotiation of EPC and asset management contracts. Detailed operational energy yield analysis of two projects was undertaken, including evaluation of power performance test results for two turbines. Critical reviews of five third-party yield analyses ensured the most appropriate forecast figures were considered within the financial models. The acquisition of the first four projects achieved financial close in 2016.
The business was then engaged as Owner’s Engineer on the construction projects, acting as Engineer under the EPC contract, providing a regular site presence to monitor works progress with a focus on the inspection and monitoring of works on site, along with Health & Safety and quality assurance. Den Brook achieved commercial operation in October 2016, with Turncole being commissioned in January 2017 and Minnygap in June 2017. RINA is currently providing operational monitoring across all projects, whilst RES will continue to provide asset management services to the projects, with responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the wind farms, including delivering and managing community benefit initiatives.