Trinity advises on REIPPP

Trinity advised the Standard Bank of South Africa and other lenders in three solar PV projects (totalling 258MW of capacity) that reached financial close under Round 4 of the South African Government Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme (“REIPPP”).

The Norweigan consortium, Scatec Solar, was awarded preferred bidder status for three projects in Upington in the fourth bidding round under the REIPPP in April 2015. However, the projects were beset by long running delays including as a result of ongoing political issues within the South African Government and consequential delays in receipt of Budget Quotes, legal challenges and issues relating to Eskom’s ability to sign.

Trinity advised on the form of PPA, Implementation Agreement and the full suite of subcontracts (including EPC, O&M, Self-Build Agreements and Consortium Agreement) in conjunction with South African law firm, Bowmans. One feature of the project structure was that all three projects are to share a common connection point to the South African grid. This presented a number of legal challenges given Eskom’s requirement that the connection facilities be constructed under a single Self-Build Agreement to which all projects (which were each separately financed) are party on a joint and several basis. The result of this was the creation of a consortium agreement between the projects and numerous adjustments to the EPC arrangements to ensure that the risks arising from this arrangement were appropriately allocated in a bankable manner.

This deal highlights Trinity’s active presence in the South African renewables market and Trinity’s continuing ties with Standard Bank of South Africa and long running developer client, Scatec Solar.

In the same programme of Round 4 projects, Trinity also advised Rand Merchant Bank on the 147MW Roggeveld Wind Project, sponsored by Building Energy. As with the Scatec Solar projects, the development process for the project extended over 3 years from start to finish due to the changing political landscape in South Africa, which culminated in an interdict application being lodged over the execution of the key project documents by Eskom.

On the Roggeveld project, Trinity’s scope of work was the same as for the Scatec Solar projects, with particular emphasis being given to the EPC and O&M arrangements for the Project.

The Trinity team included Simon Norris, Patrick Leece and Harvinder Deol.