Gus Wood is an expert in energy. His in-depth energy knowledge and sector expertise enables him to understand the businesses of energy clients, and also the energy-related challenges increasingly faced by all organisations.
Based in Gowling WLG's Birmingham office, Gus is respected for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the UK electricity and gas sectors, for his expertise in documenting and interpreting regulatory regimes, and for his commercial contracts work within the (often complicated) regulatory frameworks.
Gus is particularly well known for his commercial contracts work in the energy sector. In respect of power purchase agreements (PPAs), for example, he has drafted or negotiated some of the most significant PPAs in the UK renewables sector. He is also an acknowledged expert in heat supply agreements, particularly for combined heat and power projects. A further specialism is in the drafting or negotiation of supply-side agreements, including the development of flexible pricing products and PPA-sleeving arrangements. In addition, he regularly advises on energy trading and fuel supply agreements, on both standard and bespoke terms.
Gus's extensive experience of energy regulation enables him to provide cutting-edge advice on the legislative frameworks that underpin all competitive energy markets. He regularly advises government departments and regulators - as well as energy companies - on the development and interpretation of regulatory frameworks.
Gus's passion for the energy sector and his long-standing involvement in the sector means that he is able to keep on top of the latest developments. He is constantly engaged in cutting-edge sector work, which enables him to add real value when advising clients on developing policy and new products. Gus is currently working with a number of clients on opportunities for energy storage projects in the UK.
Government departments and regulators responsible for energy, industry bodies responsible for energy codes, energy network companies, electricity generators, energy traders, energy suppliers and energy consumers.
Gus has advised Statkraft on all the power purchase agreements it has entered into for UK renewables projects since it entered the UK PPA market in 2010. With his team he has worked closely with Statkraft to help it become one of the most active PPA offtakers for UK renewables projects. He continues to advise Statkraft on its product development to adapt to the evolving regulatory regime, and to new technologies.
He has worked with the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the regulatory aspects of its smart metering rollout programme. This involved the creation of a new Data Communications Company licence - novel because it is granted under both the electricity and gas legislation - modifications to existing electricity and gas supply licences, and the drafting of the new Smart Energy Code.
He advises new entrants to the UK energy market on licence applications, accession to the industry codes, drafting of energy supply agreements, drafting of power purchase agreements and negotiation of energy trading agreements (including ISDA, EFET, GTMA and NBP terms).
Gus advises energy project developers on how best to structure and secure their projects in order to comply with and make the most of the applicable regulatory regimes. This includes advice on the regulatory regime, advice on incentive schemes for renewable or low-carbon electricity or heat generation (including CFDs, ROCs, FIT and RHI), connection agreements, fuel supply agreements and power purchase agreements. His experience spans all technologies, including onshore and offshore wind, natural gas, coal, biomass, energy from waste, anaerobic digestion and solar PV.
He has worked for property developers and energy service companies on the creation and operation of energy projects that are integrated into new commercial and residential property developments. The main challenge here is in structuring the projects to ensure they comply with energy regulation and offer sufficient protections to future occupiers.
Gus advised Waste Recycling Group (now FCC) on its successful bid for the Lincolnshire energy from waste public-private partnership project. The project had a relatively novel funding structure, as it was funded by Lincolnshire County Council via prudential borrowing. The facility will process 150,000 tonnes of waste each year and has the capability to operate as a CHP plant.
He advised the electricity regulators in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on the introduction of the Single Electricity Market for the island of Ireland. At the same time, he advised the Northern Ireland regulator on the final implementation of the second EU Electricity Directive. Highly specialised, the project involved amending existing and creating new legislation, licences and industry codes. It culminated in a new regulatory framework in Northern Ireland to reflect the cross-jurisdictional nature of the new market.
Gus worked with a steering group of electricity distributors and suppliers to create the Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement (DCUSA), the agreement to which all licensed electricity distributors and suppliers in Great Britain must accede. He continues to advise the DCUSA panel on developments to the agreement, working with industry representatives to find positions with which suppliers, distributors and the regulator are comfortable. The work included developing the National Terms of Connection that govern most of the electricity distribution connection agreements in Great Britain.