Energy Offering Application Process and Guidance
Energy Offering 2019 for Renewable Energy Sites and Storage on Scotland’s National Forests and Land
1. General guidance
You are receiving this Application and associated information following Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) checking your Expression(s) of Interest (EoI). As a result, FLS considers that a renewable energy or storage project may be feasible in that location and has not identified specific legal or other matters that would prevent you moving to the Application stage. This does not imply any warranty on the part of FLS as regards the suitability of the potential project or location in any respect.
Therefore you are now requested to complete and return this Application to FLS to meet the timeline below.
Please note that any option/lease arrangement which FLS ultimately may enter into with yourselves will be a land transaction, therefore not constituting a contract for goods, services or works and as such this process is outwith the ambit of the procurement regulations. However we do intend to follow a standard process to allow a fair opportunity to be presented.
Where only one Application is received for a site, FLS will evaluate this on its merits and Applications which score over 50% overall will progress to the next stage. Where there are multiple Applications for the same site, FLS will use the Application as a basis for comparison in order to decide which developer to allow to proceed. As with single Applications, successful Applications must score over 50% overall to progress to the next stage.
Past experience has shown that legal costs and associated time delays can escalate for all parties in exercises like this. It is highly inefficient for a wide range of individual versions of option and lease documentation to be created, negotiated and (eventually) agreed. Accordingly FLS is providing, with this Application, a standard set of Option and draft Lease documents, which will be used in all cases. These documents have been compiled and selected carefully and are in FLS’s view acceptable to the industry and the legal and financial advisors serving the Renewable Energy sector. It is important that prospective developers are very clear on this point at the outset because you will be wasting your and FLS’s time by submitting an Application if you consider the Option/Lease documentation to be in any way unacceptable. For the avoidance of doubt FLS will not entertain any discussion in relation to changes to these documents.
Furthermore FLS must make it clear at this point that developers are required to cover FLS’s legal costs in relation to entering into the option and lease agreements, including the cost of title provision and other costs to render the generic legal documents site specific. Again, if this is not acceptable to you, please do not submit the Application, as this will not be a matter for subsequent discussion. These points are reflected in the Application itself.
Site-specific Options must be signed within 12 months of the applicant receiving confirmation that they have been successful in their application in relation to a specific site1 and FLS will not accommodate extensions to this timescale.
For the avoidance of doubt, walkover surveys will be facilitated after the site has been allocated to the successful applicant, but no ground works may be carried out until the Option is signed.
1 FLS completed the submission of voluntary registration applications for all of the national forests and land to Registers of Scotland (RoS) in June 2019. RoS are in the process of verifying and registering those applications to produce a land registered title. These titles will detail the extent of our ownership and will be the main source of details of all rights, obligations, restrictions, agreements and other legal interests that affect or may affect the option site. Once registered the titles are publicly available through Scotland’s Land Information Service (ScotLIS) operated by RoS for an appropriate fee. Any costs for FLS providing this information and other documents will be payable by the developer.
Where the developer is of the opinion that legal title is insufficient for construction and operation of a hydro/windfarm/solar pv/storage scheme it will be up to that developer to negotiate and reach agreement with the relevant third parties. Developers should not assume that FLS will assist such discussion or facilitate an agreement.
FLS requires that community benefits of £5,000/MW installed pa for wind and hydro and £1,000/MWi pa for solar PV are paid to local communities from all renewable energy developments on Scotland’s national forests and land progressed through this offering. The details of this are set out in the relevant Lease for the technology. Again, this is non-negotiable and if you are not willing to pay these, please do not submit an application.
For the avoidance of doubt, community benefits offered for battery storage and pumped storage schemes will be evaluated in the application.
In addition, bidders will be evaluated (Question E5) on their willingness to offer communities a stake in the projects after operation has commenced.
This is set out below as a guide. FLS reserves the right to amend if necessary.
|FLS sends Applications to interested parties following initial evaluation.||15 June 2020|
|Application Return Date and Time||1:00pm on 14 September 2020|
|Application Evaluation Period||September to December 2020|
|Notification of evaluation results||18 December 2020|
|Expected Option Signing Date||By 17 December 2021|
4. Preparation, enquiries and completion arrangements
We expect all work to be desk based during the Application stage and no site visits will be allowed.
All form fields are mandatory. Enter N/A or N/K if you think it is not applicable or not known, but this may lead to your Application being rejected unless there is a good reason.
Supporting documents or general literature will not be evaluated as part of the Application, though FLS may ask for clarification.
All costs incurred in relation to your participation in this process remain your responsibility.
Please note FLS reserves the right to cancel, withdraw or modify the process at any stage and is not bound to accept the highest or any bid in relation to this Energy Offering.
FLS has a policy of transparency in respect of enquiries for information about our work and is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FoI). Commercial information is usually treated as confidential, but you should assume that any information in your Application could be made public. If you have any particular concerns in this matter, please identify the information concerned. FLS will bear this in mind in considering which information should or should not be published in the event of a FoI request, but can make no guarantees that requested information will be redacted or withheld.
Your Application must be valid for 180 days from receipt of the Application by FLS, it must be completed in the English language and any concluded resulting arrangements will be governed by Scots law.
Any pricing must be in £ Sterling and exclusive of VAT.
Applicants are asked to note that FLS will not entertain any costs incurred post appointment that are not made clear as part of your Application. In particular FLS would draw your attention again to the position in respect of legal documentation and related costs.
Offering any inducement of any kind will disqualify you from this process and may constitute a criminal offence.
5. How FLS will evaluate your Application
FLS may request further clarification in respect of your Application, after the return date but prior to the evaluation.
FLS intends to evaluate your Application objectively using the evaluation guidance below. It is important to note that some questions in the Application are considered Gateways (i.e. Pass/Fail) given their fundamental nature, so please be aware that if you do not answer these appropriately FLS may reject your Application at that point.
Some questions will be more important to FLS than others. To ensure this is correctly reflected, each question has been given a weighting. Therefore the score awarded to your answer to each question will be multiplied by the weighting.
Once FLS has evaluated all Applications all participants will be notified of the outcome by email.