Q&A: Engenera’s Lloyd Lawson on the company’s new £100m Green Bond – Solar Power Portal

Lloyd Lawson, Engenera Renewables Group’s business development director. Image: Engenera.

At the end of 2019, EPC Engenera Renewables Group, launched its own Green Investment Bond, giving companies a new route for developing rooftop and ground mount solar.

The move will help the company – which installs a range of renewable technologies but has a particular focus on solar PV – diversify its portfolio, building on its from Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), which currently make up around 75% of its projects.

Engenera Green Bond’s is a £100 million platform from the company, which arose following a strict due diligence process. According to Lloyd Lawson, the company’s business development director, it will allow it to acquire new partners and projects.

Solar Power Portal caught up with Lloyd about the launch of the Green Bond and the benefits businesses could see from working with Engenera.

Could you tell me a little about Engenera to start with?

Engenera are an award-winning EPV (Engineer, Procure, Construct) within the “Fully-Funded” Renewable Energy sector. We design, fund, install and manage, multi-technology installation programmes such as solar PV, air/ground-source heat pumps (ASHP, GSHP), electric vehicle (EV) charging & LED lighting on commercial and domestic portfolios across the UK and Ireland. 

To date, we have helped more than 150 businesses achieve substantial reductions to their ever-increasing electricity costs and carbon footprint. We achieve this by enabling them to generate their own cleaner, greener, cheaper, energy from a range of renewable technologies.

Could you give me any examples of projects you’ve worked on previously?

Our projects are widespread and range in size significantly; from small 50kW projects on private printing facilities, to large megawatt plus installations across a spectrum of sectors. We have recently commenced the first installation for a major and very well-known logistics company, which is part of a complete roll out across their many depots. Our philosophy is simple – if you are energy user, then we can help; Our holistic approach empowers our customers to seamlessly integrate renewable tech into their existing energy management strategy.

Why have you chosen now to announce Engenera Green Bond to the marketplace?

We simply felt that with the recent launch and success of the Bond, it was time to announce the Engenera brand to the marketplace. All of our growth to date has been very much organic. We have never adopted a front-end sales mechanism, instead, choosing to work on a referral basis. This has enabled us to control our expansion programme and ensure quality in all we do.

At Engenera we execute each stage of the process in-house, from design and financial modelling, to project management and operations and maintenance (O&M). It was important to us that we did not diminish our values during our sustained and exponential growth.

Where do you feel UK businesses are at with regards carbon reduction and energy management?

I think it is important to recognise exactly where we are at in the UK with regards energy, carbon and overall strategy. Government legislation on environmental responsibility and carbon reduction is an ever-changing landscape and it is the responsibility of business owners to ensure they are acting on emissions.

It is our belief that every business in the UK, large or small, will have to embrace some form of renewable technology within the next five to seven years. Not all companies or organisations have the capital or want the responsibility of such systems…this is where Engenera can help!

Why did you take the step to launch your own investment platform in the form of the Engenera Green Bond?

There were several reasons, not least the stature and endorsement it brings to the Engenera brand. From an operational sense, we wanted more control over the type of projects we develop. Efficiency and timescale were other key drivers; we always felt that utilising third-party funding was suffocating our growth. The other obvious factor is the ability to cultivate our own portfolio of diversified assets.

We can now also look to more niche opportunities such as solar carports or combined solar and heat strategies. We have recently launched our Domestic Air-Source Heat Pump – Assignment of Rights (AOR) scheme. This enables homeowners and landlords to install a complete ASHP system for a fraction of the cost. They pay a small capital contribution – generally 15-25% – we then fund the rest via our Bond. We see this as an impact strategy, helping low income households and working with local authorities and housing associations to better people’s lives; by enabling them to save money on heating their homes.

Can you tell us more about the bond?

It is a £100 million, secured, asset-backed 7.00% fixed-rate bond with a five-year term. The Notes will provide a fixed-rate, semi-annual, income payment to investors. The invested capital will be deployed in the installation of renewable technology projects under PPAs.

It is listed on the Euronext Dublin (GEMs) and Frankfurt exchanges, with an independent third-party security trustee, to whom all assets are pledged.

Why are you looking for more partnerships with installers now?

For two reasons. Firstly, we are looking to deploy our invested capital quickly. One way to do this is to look to the marketplace to acquire solar and heating projects that require funding. There will be a great many opportunities out there that never came to fruition because of a lack of capital; we want to hear from any developer, installer, introducer, or indeed any company that is interested in re-visiting such opportunities.

Secondly, as we continue to grow, we require more qualified and quality install partners, whether it be rooftop or ground mount solar or for commercial or domestic heating technologies. Simply put, we are looking to expand our UK and Ireland network of partners, across all facets of the business. So, come and talk to us!

With the drop in power prices seen over recent months, do you think the appetite for PPA’s is likely to grow?

Absolutely, and I will explain why. Let’s just park the financial benefits for a moment. It is important to recognise and appreciate the environmental aspect of what we are doing. The positive PR for businesses who implement renewables into their energy strategy is hard to put a value on.

From a financial standpoint, there has never been a  more pertinent time to embrace an offering that can severely cut operating costs, help clawback lost profits and increase your business profile, all with minimal risk and zero capital requirement. The interest and subsequent pipeline we have generated during the COVID-19 pandemic is substantial, especially as businesses start to re-emerge and secure their future. This is the benefit of what we do, regardless of sector or levels of energy consumption, we can help.

Source: https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/blogs/qa_engeneras_lloyd_lawson_on_the_companys_new_100m_green_bond

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