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Anaerobic Digestion

Over the last decade our award-winning anaerobic digestion (AD) specialists have worked with an impressive diversity of clients.

We’ve helped rural landowners looking to diversify their business, developers seeking to install plant, feedstock producers wishing to supply AD and biomass, and funders looking for opportunities.

Full-scope legal expertise and experience for AD projects

We advise from project inception and planning through to financing, construction and accreditation, post-commissioning, and operational matters throughout the AD plant lifecycle.

Certified and capable with the finer details

Our Energy team holds European Energy Centre Certification in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and has a firm grasp of the technologies involved in mesophilic or thermophilic plant – and whether export is via biogas and a CHP, or biomethane via gas-to-grid connection.

We’ve advised on everything from small-scale community AD projects to large industrial developments, and can help you every step of the way. We can provide guidance on the regulatory and environmental aspects involved in AD, including waste duty of care, environmental assessments, permit applications, transfers and surrenders, and contaminated land and remediation liabilities.

Powerful expertise in AD planning matters

We have an excellent track record in dealing with AD-related planning, and the team can assess a site’s current planning status and provide a strategic view on progressing applications. We have advised on sites in areas of outstanding natural beauty, enabled increased feedstock tonnages and increased plant on existing sites, and advised on air quality and emissions next to sites of specific scientific interest.

Our anaerobic digestion expertise includes:

  • due diligence in securing land rights, wayleaves and easements
  • grid connection matters – whether grid export of gas or electricity
  • power purchase agreements and private wire arrangements
  • feedstock and digestate management agreements for a variety of feedstock streams, including energy crop, animal slurry, merchant or council food waste
  • planning (contentious and non-contentious)
  • environmental regulation
  • AHA tenancy issues
  • project finance
  • EPC and O&M contracts.

Our experience includes:

  • advising farming landowners in relation to developing industrial-scale gas-to-grid AD plants on their land, including consortia feedstock agreements and digestate management
  • advising developers on a community energy AD project using estate-sourced feedstock and debt funding
  • SPV incorporation and project asset stacking, enabling landowners to construct and operate their own AD plants with suitable ring-fencing for financing purposes
  • contributing to the first and second editions of the ADBA Practical Guide to AD, and appearing regularly as speakers at the UK AD Biogas and World Biogas Expo
  • advising on OFGEM AD accreditation issues to enable connection to grid and providing regulatory guidance on Contract for Difference (CfD) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) applications as well as OFGEM disputes relating to existing accreditations.

The Stephens Scown Energy team has published a white paper on “the critical first 180 days in the life of an AD plant”.

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