Administrators appointed as wind farm companies enter administration

Administrators called in at Scottish wind farm companies

Two Scottish energy-from-wind companies have gone into administration after struggling with financial and technical problems.

Andrew Watling and Carl Jackson, partners at business rescue and recovery specialists Quantuma, are now handling the affairs of RM Ewebrae Ltd and RM Sinsharnie Ltd.

Each company owns a single turbine, though these alone have a significant capital cost attached to them.

Called after Aberdeenshire farms of the same name, the Ewebrae turbine is wholly owned, with Quantuma now seeking a purchaser.

The Sinsharnie turbine is involved in a joint venture with a local farmer, who holds certain pre-emption rights, which the Joint Administrators are exploring.

Ewebrae’s turbine is located at Cuminestown, near Turriff, with Sinsharnie’s being at Cairnie, near Huntly.

Both are operational, although not currently at full capacity, due to various niggling issues the joint administrators are working to resolve/have resolved.

Mr Watling said: “They are generating revenue but it has not been sufficient historically to service the loans which were taken out to finance their construction and commissioning.

“Ewebrae has previously been hampered by metering and signal issues which the Joint Administrators have taken steps to rectify, by installing new equipment.

“Sinsharnie is being undermined by software glitches which have led it to cut out in strong winds. The joint administrators are working with their retained maintenance contractor to ascertain what can be done to alleviate and/or fully resolve this issue.”

Mr Watling said Quantuma had already received various expressions of interest from prospective purchasers of the Ewebrae turbine.

He added that the wind energy sector has been beset by a series of endemic issues.

“Turbines are very expensive to build, set up, operate and maintain, and therefore significant capital investment is required, up front.

“There may be legislative issues and for onshore wind farms there can be land and lease related issues.

“It’s not just a question of where the turbines are sited and who hosts them, but how they are connected to the grid, which may require running cables through someone else’s land,” he said.

Location is a critical factor, requiring reliable wind and consistent strength.

Feasibility and viability studies can be extremely costly and may also be subject to land/lease issues and associated costs, he pointed out.

The cutting of subsidiaries in the UK has undoubtedly impacted the industry, he said, with many potential operators underestimating the business lifecycle and therefore finding themselves unable to finance their on-going costs.

“Whether a project is under construction, or whether it is at a more mature operating stage and producing revenue, there are still funding issues which it is all too easy to underestimate,” he said.

“At Quantuma, we believe that many more projects may face similar problems and we would urge those involved to take early advice on the options available to them.”

Ends (463 words)

For further information, please contact:

Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257

or

Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,

Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS

Tel: 07464 545678

www.quantuma.com

Notes to Editors

Quantuma LLP is a leading restructuring and insolvency practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton and Bristol.