Amberside provide consultancy support to utility scale Energy projects ranging from solar and wind, to biomass, waste and the networks. Complex projects take a variety of different structures and we use financial models to make sense of each project we work on. We pride ourselves on producing simple, transparent models that are easy to understand. We then deliver on our client’s goals using a wealth of financial and commercial expertise.
From our work across developers, EPC, buyers and sellers, we know the key role repetition plays in driving down cost. This carries risk where assumptions are just that, assumed. We support value with rigorous diligence ranging from benchmarking through to military-standard testing.
From our work across a wide range of technololgies and regulatory regimes, we offer proven tools that build confidence in your decisions. Through our advisory practice, we are constantly developing our suite of templates to suit your needs — such as developing new PPA's or pricing for CfD auctions.
Changing demand, increase in renewables, capacity constraints, regulatory updates, investor confidence, competition are all components that are impacting the network. Through our direct work for Ofgem and developers, we are at the forefront of the issues and solutions.
We are working with developers and investors to enhance existing energy investments through co-generation. By interacting with regulatory authorities, we are exploring new forms of PPA that can open up investment opportunities while delivering grid resilience. Combining our experience working on several OFTOs and our extensive onshore price control experience, we are able to provide support to various tender programmes and network operators.
Technology keeps changing and the impact of renewables growth on grid resilience is creating both challenges and opportunities. We track changes in regulation and the impact on technology. We are currently working with developers and investors across a range of evolving technologies such as battery storage. We are developing practical ways to enhance existing energy investments through co-generation and new technology. By interacting with regulatory authorities, we are exploring new forms of delivery that can open up investment opportunities while delivering grid resilience.
Solarcentury approached Amberside Advisors to develop an appraisal tool that would enable Solarcentury to progress a wide variety of solar projects across its global offices, while standardising outputs to improve internal reporting. The company wanted the model to undertake both early stage development appraisal, and later to take projects through to full investment committee and secure external debt, if required.
Close liaison with the finance and development team at Solarcentury uncovered the optimum balance of ease of use, with sufficient flexibility to handle a variety of off-take contract arrangements, as well as differing subsidy and tax regimes. Amberside Advisors designed the model’s use of input assumptions so that maximum assurance was retained, while keeping the outputs simple and understandable.
The model has been used to help secure a variety of notable solar developments, including 170MW AC of ground mount solar projects, jointly developed by Solarcentury and JinkoSolar, secured as part of Mexico’s first energy auction in Spring 2016.
"Amberside has worked closely with us to develop the tools we need to support our project development activities around the world. Amberside Advisors is responsive, listens to our needs but also uses its commercial sector insight to provide an effective challenge to our thinking." Archie Fraser, Director of Corporate Finance.
Originally appointed in 2009, Amberside has since acted as specialist corporate finance advisors to 3 Waste to Energy projects with a combined capital value of £96m. Signed in the 1990s, the PPP projects generate income through Gate Fees and the sale of electricity generated through the incineration of Council waste. With variable tonnages being delivered, concerns over plant performance, council disputes and funder covenants to be met, the role, which was originally to provide operational modelling support, has since developed into a wider advisory mandate.
Working closely with the General & Finance Manager our role has included: understanding the past performance of the projects; forecasting future financial performance; liaising with the board; submitting semi-annual updates to the funders in respect of funding covenants; restructuring finances through the prepayment of Senior Debt and partial termination of interest rate swaps.
With our support, confidence has been built in each project’s performance. The clear, concise and evidenced analysis that came from these models enabled key business decisions to be made and meant that projects that might otherwise be considered at risk by the funders, have instead been able to unlock seven figure distributions.
"Amberside bring extensive knowledge of the sector and with their support we have had the confidence to resolve complex contractual issues and also refinance some of our existing debt facilities. With their support in funder negotiations, we have been able to unlock significant distributions after the approval of the new models. Their knowledge and experience has proven invaluable, particularly in assisting us in managing relationships with our funders." – Adrian Meehan, General & Finance Manager, Group of EfW Facilities
RIIO is the current Ofgem framework for setting transmission and distribution price controls for network companies.
Ofgem with the support of network operators, users of the regulatory accounts and stakeholders are developing a new form of regulatory reporting. The new set of accounts ('RIIO Accounts'), will reflect the performance of the network operators in a regulatory context and within the existing price control regime. RIIO Accounts will provide a better view of price control performance and so be of particular benefit to the investor community.
Amberside have been supporting Ofgem developing the RIIO Accounts Support Modules (RASMs), that can be used in the preparation of RIIO Accounts. The RASMs are sector specific spreadsheet models that help ease the burden on network companies by providing the means to input and calculate the data which will be reported in RIIO accounts.
"Our work supporting Ofgem on the RIIO Accounts Support Modules (RASMs), which has often involved addressing technical regulatory issues, aims to generate standardised financial information that is easily understood by external users" - Mayur Gondhea, Manager, Amberside Advisors
As the production of energy from weather dependant renewables increases, grid’s ability to meet peaks in demand becomes more challenging. This has led to the search for grid balancing mechanisms to provide a rapid supply of energy during these short periods of high demand and increased pressure on the grid.
Capacity constraints and efficiency drives where existing assets can be supplemented by additional income streams. This is contributing to a growing push towards developing practical ways of enhancing existing energy investments, through co-generation and new technology (such as battery storage).
Amberside are active in this market and have extensive links with existing asset owners, ‘capacity’ developers and funders. In partnership with our specialist grid technology affiliate, Amberside Energy Ltd, we have developed a template ‘Project Capacity’ financial model to analyse the viability of projects where there are existing renewable assets, with an assessment of the benefits of extra revenue sources incorporating STOR and Triads, for example.
Our belief is that battery storage is a growing market not only in relation to co-generation, but also grid resilience and frequency control, as seen by the huge interest in National Grid’s enhanced frequency response tender – where Amberside provided support to one of the bidders – with the successful contracts being largely dominated by battery storage technologies.
"Amberside’s extensive knowledge around battery storage and the revenue streams available allowed me to showcase the model’s results to potential clients with confidence. Their attention to detail enabled us to produce a flexible model which could suit the needs of a number of asset owners." – Marc Scambler, Director, Amberside Energy Ltd.