Real Estate team advises Conrad Energy on UK’s first standalone greenfield financing of two synchronous condenser Pathfinder projects

2 minute read
02 April 2024

Our Real Estate team has advised Conrad Energy on the real estate aspects of the greenfield financing of its two synchronous condenser Pathfinder projects located in the East of England.

The transaction received strong support and ultimately the £200 million package was supported by commitments from AIB, Siemens Financial Services acting through Siemens Bank, HSBC UK, Bank of China and CaixaBank. It comprises a fully amortising term loan of c. £170 million, and £30 million of ancillary facilities maturing in March 2035. The financing package is underpinned by long-term cash flow visibility with no merchant exposure, supported by c. 10-year of 100% availability fee contracts with investment grade counterparty National Grid ESO.

Proceeds of the financing will be used to fund the remaining capex required to construct the synchronous condensers, as National Grid prepares to operate at zero-carbon by 2025 as part of the UK's Net Zero target for 2050.

The synchronous condensers, provided by Siemens Energy, will allow National Grid to manage inertia and Short Circuit Level, thereby protecting the commercial and industrial equipment connected to the transmission system. These services will be used to stabilise the UK transmission system, a further example of Conrad Energy's commitment to the energy transition.

The team was led by Real Estate partner Helen Emmerson, with support from legal director Arminder Dhillon, principal associates Steve White and Elizabeth Napier, and Planning partner Ben Stansfield.

Helen Emmerson said: "We're delighted to have supported Conrad Energy in securing this financing which will help to facilitate the UK's net zero transition. We look forward to seeing how the Pathfinder projects develop."

Gowling WLG is home to one of the UK's largest real estate practices. For further information, visit our real estate sector page.

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