Matthew Collinson

Barrister and solicitor - Specialist Energy Lawyer and Consultant
Matthew is a consultant lawyer working both independently and through four of the UK’s top 20 law firms. His clients include start-ups, SMEs and corporates in the FTSE 250, FTSE 100 and FTSE 20.

Previously general counsel and part of the leadership team at OVO Energy, Matthew designed and delivered the legal model for “OVO Communities”, which was used as a case study in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s 2015 Community Energy Strategy.

Prior to that, he was part of the Energy and Natural Resources Team of the Year (Legal Business Awards 2014) at Pinsent Masons, where he advised on landmark projects including the London Array (then the world’s largest offshore wind farm), the Kings Cross redevelopment (then Europe’s largest regeneration project) and district heating arrangements for the 2012 London Olympics. He was also named in the 2011 Legal 500 for his experience in the energy sector.

In 2013, Matthew published Procurement of Utilities: Law and Practice through Oxford University Press.

Contributed to

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An introduction to Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Projects
Practice Note

This Practice Note introduces what combined heat and power (CHP) projects are and the key contracts involved, the revenue streams typically available to CHP projects, and provides an explanation of the key contractual and regulatory issues faced by CHP projects.

Combined Heat and Power Quality Assurance scheme (CHPQA)
Practice Note

This Practice Note provides an explanation of what the Combined Heat and Power Quality Assurance scheme (CHPQA) is, where to find scheme documentation, and the benefits to combined heat and power (CHP) projects of obtaining CHPQA certification. This note includes a detailed explanation of the way in which the CHPQA is relevant to CHP projects in the context of renewable subsidy provided under the Renewables Obligation, the Renewable Heat Incentive, and the Contract for Difference.

Community energy projects—legal and policy issues
Practice Note

This Practice Note outlines the key legal and policy issues involved in community energy projects. It explains what community energy is, highlights the challenges for community energy projects, the key legal issues when advising on community energy projects, government policy on community energy, the community energy strategy and access to funding and advice.

Consents for onshore renewable generating stations
Practice Note

This Practice Note covers guidance on consents for onshore renewable generating stations. It considers what permissions are required for a wind farm application above or below 50 MW including under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Electricity licensees: street-opening and necessary wayleaves
Practice Note

This Practice Note covers the statutory powers available to Electricity Act 1989 licensees (most notably Distribution Network Operators (DNOs)) in respect of street-opening and so called necessary wayleaves (or ‘statutory wayleaves’) to put down electricity wires, the circumstances in which these DNO street-opening and statutory electricity wayleaves powers can be used and the potential defences for landowners to refuse a DNO necessary wayleave for electricity wires.

Electricity Market Reform (EMR)—how has the transition from the Renewables Obligation (RO) to the Contracts for Difference (CfD) regime worked?
Practice Note

The move away from Renewables Obligation support to Contracts for Difference (CfD) support for new renewable electricity generation projects in Great Britain (GB) created the need for a transition period between the two schemes. This Practice Note sets out the context for this transition period and how the transition period was dealt with.

Emissions controls and carbon pricing in respect of carbon emissions from UK fossil fuel powered electricity generation
Practice Note

This Practice Note provides a consolidated summary of the key emissions controls that apply to fossil fuel powered electricity generation in the UK. It includes coverage of the Emissions Performance Standard, the closure of existing unabated coal generation, environmental permitting requirements under the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU and Medium Combustion Plants Directive (EU) 2015/2193, and carbon pricing by virtue of the application of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the Climate Change Levy’s carbon price support (CPS) mechanism (sometimes referred to as the carbon price floor (CPF)). It also discusses Brexit and the EU ETS, the originally proposed Carbon Emissions Tax and latterly floated UK ETS to replace the EU ETS if there is a no deal Brexit, and Brexit and carbon price support.

Energy Act 2016—snapshot
Practice Note

This Practice Note provides a snapshot on the Energy Act 2016 (EnA 2016), which includes the background to EnA 2016, a summary of its key provisions, and tracks the status of its implementation. It was produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson.

Energy installations—application procedure for Electricity Act consent
Practice Note

This Practice Note explains the procedure for applying for consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. It includes: pre-application requirements and good practice, the environmental statement, making and giving notice, consideration and determination of the application, post-decision conditions and the timescale of events.

Energy regulation issues in ESCo, community energy and captive offtake projects
Practice Note

This Practice Note outlines key energy regulation issues in Great Britain Energy Services Companies (ESCos) projects, community energy projects and captive offtake (often referred to as ‘private wire’) projects. It focuses on Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects and therefore is of particular relevance to biomass or waste to energy projects using incineration, anaerobic digestion, or advanced gasification. It covers in particular the key issues seen for these types of CHP projects in respect of CHP and Power purchase agreements (PPAs), CHP and supply licensing and distribution licensing, and licence exemptions for CHP private wire projects and those connected to the distribution network.

Energy Services Company (ESCo)—common issues in ESCo projects
Practice Note

This Practice Note outlines some of the common issues in energy services company (ESCo) combined heat and power (CHP) projects. It covers what an ESCo is and focuses on ESCos involved in the production and supply of energy rather than energy efficiency projects. It includes consideration of issues faced by private wire ESCo projects and grid connected ESCo projects.

Great Britain electricity generation, distribution and supply licensing and exemptions regime
Practice Note

This Practice Note outlines the Electricity Act 1989 generation, distribution and supply licensing requirements. Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson of Energetics, it covers who is responsible for electricity licensing, what exemptions are available, and when licences are required.

Grid connection—key rules
Practice Note

This Practice Note outlines the key rules and procedures for obtaining an electricity connection to the local network or grid, including to the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS) and distribution systems operated by distribution network operators (DNOs). It includes explanation of ‘second comer’ obligations and connection charges (including in respect of preliminary works) and the link between charges and DNOs’ Connection Charging Methodologies and Connection Charging Statements.

Power purchase agreement (PPA)—Checklist
Practice Note

This Checklist highlights issues commonly arising during the negotiation, drafting and due diligence review of power purchase agreements (PPAs) entered into between a renewable generator and a licensed electricity supplier (although many of these issues would arise in relation to power purchaser/power supply agreements entered into between a generator and a direct consumer of the electricity in a licence-exempt supply arrangement). It covers the duration, export volume, renewable benefits, power price and GuOs, exclusivity, long-stop dates for construction of the plant and registration of the supply point, output forecasts, meter accuracy and access rights, guarantees, and assignment. It is relevant for PPA review by either developers or lenders.

Project structure for renewable energy projects
Practice Note

This Practice Note outlines a typical project structure for renewable energy projects. It covers the key contracts and parties. It also highlights the differences in project documentation between different types of renewable energy projects. It was produced it partnership with Matthew Collinson.

Renewables Obligation (RO)—accreditation of renewable electricity generators
Practice Note

This Practice Note sets out the Renewable Obligation (RO) process for obtaining accreditation. (The RO is now closed to new accreditations, and therefore this is a process which RO supported renewable generators will have already been through.)

Connection agreement for private wires
Precedent

This Precedent provides basic ‘market’ architecture for the connection to and use of an electricity distribution network by an electricity generator, where the network is operated under an exemption from the requirement for a licence under section 6 of the Electricity Act 1989 (a ‘private wire’). As is usual for connection agreements, this Precedent does not provide for the construction of the connection—only the on-going physical interface between the generator’s equipment (‘Customer’s Installation’) and the private wire (‘Distribution System’).

Fuel supply agreement
Precedent

This Precedent is a fuel supply agreement for the purchase of fuel by a generator from a fuel supplier. It was drafted on the basis that the generator is a biomass generator but can be adapted for other fuels. It was produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson. Key provisions include commencement and duration, purchase of fuel, delivery and offloading of fuel, conformity of fuel with a specification, payment, termination and liability.

Power purchase agreement (PPA)—exempt power supply
Precedent

This Precedent is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or power supply agreement for the sale of electricity by a generator to an offtaker for consumption rather than resale (private supply). This type of PPA is also commonly referred to as a ‘private wire power purchase agreement’ or ‘private wire PPA’. It is drafted on the basis that the generator benefits from an exemption from the requirement to have an electricity supply licence under section 5 of the Electricity Act 1989. Key provisions include commencement and duration, commercial operations date, sale of electricity, operation of the facility, metering, payment, termination and liability, termination and breakage costs.

Other work

Distribution grid connection agreements—Checklist

This Checklist highlights issues that commonly arise during the review of distribution grid connection agreements entered into between a generator and a licensed electricity distributor (DNOs).

Practice areas

Qualifications

  • LL.B (Hons)

Panel

  • Consulting Editorial Board
  • Contributing Author

Education

  • Cardiff University Law School

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