Onshore wind is the longest-established of the renewable energy technologies capable of deployment at scale around the globe.
In consequence, the global onshore wind turbine fleet encompasses a combination of newly refined designs with those well into their expected operational lifetimes.
Owners, operators and maintenance providers will be required to adapt to the evolving age and risk profiles of these assets.
Equally, wider geographical deployment introduces more territory-specific issues, whether from natural perils or political risks, that will also need to be evaluated and managed.
WHAT WE DO
Our renewable energy team personnel have followed the evolution of onshore wind risks over a number of years and successfully designed insurance programmes around their changing risk profile.
Challenges and characteristics include:
- Wide diversity of applications (small single turbines through to large capacity turbines on commercial wind farms)
- Prototype risk (increasing capacities and technical developments)
- Increasing deployment in territories with significant natural catastrophe exposures
- ‘First deployments’ in territories unfamiliar with wind projects
- New or unfamiliar turbine manufacturers gaining international market share from longer-established companies.
Core insurance products that can be provided across the whole project development and operational cycle are:
Supplementary coverages include:
Our clients also receive the benefit of broad, lender-compliant, policy wording which we regularly review and update to ensure that we continue to offer the broadest cover generally available in the market. The policy is designed to encompass all of the core insurance coverages associated with the project development and operational cycle noted above.
Our renewable energy team has extensive international experience of providing insurance placement and advisory services to developers, asset owners and other key stakeholders, such as project financiers.
Our clients frequently engage us during the development phases of a project.
This ensures that we can provide guidance on insurance programme design well in advance of placement and take full account of insurance requirements that may be specified by lenders and other key stakeholders.
This also provides the opportunity to challenge on behalf of our clients any especially onerous requirements that such stakeholders may seek to impose.
Onshore Wind Farm
The project was one of the first wind farms to be developed in the country and the first to follow a project financed-backed special purpose vehicle structure. Whilst project financing had been deployed on larger, conventional power plants those directly involved in the project were largely unfamiliar with the concept. The Chinese EPC contractor, whilst having a diverse track-record of Chinese projects, was not known to those insurers most likely to insure the project. The project location was also moderately exposed to earthquake risk and adjacent to a region that had suffered a significant (but rare) flash-flood event.
Our team were able to respond to the challenges posed by the project in a number of ways:
- Prior experience of country ‘firsts’ informed the team of typical obstacles that can arise in such situations (e.g. unfamiliar regulatory requirements)
- Selection of lead reinsurer with strong regional underwriting presence avoiding unmerited ‘country risk’ concerns which can influence insurers less familiar with a given territory
- Extensive and early intermediation between all key stakeholders
- International insurance market ‘roadshow’ to familiarise potential insurers with territory and project specifics
- Working closely with in-country broker partner.
In combination these measures and capabilities minimised the frictional challenges faced by our client to the insurance aspects of the project.
In the unfortunate event of a loss, we have a specialist team of claims personnel who have deep experience in dealing with large and complex claims across every segment of the renewable energy industry.
We act proactively to manage the claims process and the other stakeholders involved such as lead underwriters, follow markets and loss adjusters.
The team has heavy involvement in the claims process whether this is regarding interim payments, the appointment of specialist experts or site visits.
Our claims team have strong relationships with the leading loss adjustors around the world and are able to recommend the best resources to ensure that our clients’ claims issues are managed by people that understand their business.