The forthcoming removal of Government support mechanisms for renewable projects means that an increasing focus will need to come on Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and ensuring generators obtain as much value as possible from them. This workshop provides an overview of how Co-op Energy as an energy supplier purchases power to meet the demand of their customers and how generation from their PPA portfolio feeds in to this, and what measures can be put in place to potentially increase the values paid in PPAs to community-owned sites. Matt Andrews of Leapfrog Finance will firstly discuss ways in which project developers can benchmark their project’s viability using the Levelised Cost of Energy and other financial modelling techniques. Secondly, what considerations need to be made at an early stage and with holistic thinking to ensure subsidy-free developments are viable moving forward.

  • Josh Brown - Renewables Manager, Co-op Energy (Chair of the session)

Josh has been involved in the renewables industry for seven years, having previously worked for a renewable energy consultancy on planning applications for onshore wind and solar in the UK and Ireland. Josh currently manages Co-op Energy’s entire PPA portfolio as well the targets outlined in the Community Energy Strategy, including innovation, lobbying/advocacy and investment in generation.

  • Matt Andrews - Project Finance Transaction Manager, Leapfrog Finance

Matt is responsible for nurturing and realising new financing opportunities in the Community Energy sector. Matt has 23 years’ experience in the finance and banking sector with over 10 years in the Co-op Bank's respected Renewable Energy and Asset Finance team. He provided over £300m of project finance to a portfolio of onshore embedded generation projects across a number of technologies (Onshore Wind, Hydro, AD and CHP) helping to build the Co-op Bank’s £800m book. Often working in specialist teams he has experience in Corporate & SME finance, Project Finance, Receivables Finance, Block Discounting and Asset Finance. Since joining Leapfrog Finance Matt has financed c£29m of ground-mounted solar PV schemes for communities in areas of significant deprivation, with a focus on maximising the community benefit funds being generated for those communities. His current focus is on developing new finance models to support Community Energy projects in a post-subsidy Britain.

  • Natalie Brown - Renewable Coordinator, Co-op Energy 

Natalie is the Renewable Coordinator for Co-op Energy, where she helps administer Co-op Energy’s PPA portfolio. Natalie graduated from Plymouth University in 2005 with a BSc in Environmental Science with Marine Conservation, after some time travelling her passion for the environment led her to further study at Aberystwyth University where she graduated in 2008 with an MSc in Managing the Environment. Following this Natalie began her career with the Environment Agency as an Environment Officer working on a Welsh Government funding Bathing Water Project, looking to improve Bathing Water quality along the Ceredigion Coastline. Natalie’s keen interest for the marine environment led her to move on to a job with The Welsh Wildlife Trust as their Living Seas Awareness Office, providing educational activities on the marine environment. A move away from the coast of Wales to the Midlands led Natalie to begin a career in renewables with Co-op Energy.