Many generators can extract maximum revenue from their projects by acting as their own supplier. This is particularly relevant to REFIT wind farms and to De Minimis merchant wind farms in the Republic of Ireland. The Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROCs) requirements in Northern Ireland coupled with different treatment of netting benefits there, means that this approach is only advisable in Northern Ireland if it is done as part of a corporate PPA.
By acting as its own supply company, REFIT generators can extract additional savings in terms of the balancing payment element of the REFIT scheme. This commonplace structure is known as Supplier Lite and it sees the generator enter into a PPA with a supply company that it owns. This supply company exists solely to administer the electricity provided by the generator and passes on increased revenue by reducing any offtaker fee. The additional revenue stream that is created is at the expense of cash flow certainty that is offered in a regular off take agreement from an establish utility. CCL can establish supply companies for generators entering into a Supplier Lite agreement and can also offer to administer the running of the units through a Service Level Agreement. CCL will also offer to deliver the REFIT Reference price that is needed in I-SEM to ensure certainty of revenue.
Merchant De Minimis generators can also mimic the above structure as a way to extract all of the netting benefits that accrue to a supply company that purchase electricity from a De minimis generator. Generators will have differing requirements and some will opt for a traditional off-take agreement with a reputable utility that will offer comfort to funders.
I-SEM requires more active trading, and the continuing existence of netting benefits is uncertain as they are due to be reviewed to in Jan 2020. This means that generators may be advised to amend their structures slightly to bring about additional efficiencies; CCL has already made changes to a number of the above structures for clients to ensure increased revenues.