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Herbert Smith Freehills Brings AUD 450m Ararat Wind Farm To Financial Close.

26 June, 2015

 

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the project company on reaching financial close for a 240MW wind farm to be developed at Ararat in west Victoria. The wind farm will have a capital value of approximately AUD 450m and is expected to produce enough electricity for approximately 123,000 homes. A GE/Downer consortium is the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor.

 

Herbert Smith Freehills advised on all aspects of the transaction including planning, land access arrangements, construction, long term maintenance arrangements, grid connection, corporate structuring and external equity investment. The firm also advised on the Deed of Entitlement arrangements with the ACT Government under which the project receives a 20 year feed in tariff.

 

The equity investors in the project at financial close will comprise RES Australia, GE, OP Trust and Partners Group.

 

The project represents several significant developments for the Australian renewables industry. It is one of the largest wind farms to be developed in Australia and the first to reach financial close following resolution of the federal government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) in June 2015. It is also the first part merchant renewable energy project to achieve financial close since the Moree solar farm closed in 2014.

 

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partners Toby Anderson, Joel Rennie, David Ryan and Andrew Clark who were supported by executive counsel Peter Davis, senior associates Kris Percy, Daniel Ficyk, Marnie Fels and Rupert Baker, and solicitors Calvin Shaw and Michael Gabriel.

 

Toby Anderson said: “Our team has worked very closely with RES and their advisors over the last two years. Achievement of financial close was due to a huge level of work and commitment from all involved. It is also pleasing that, despite some regulatory uncertainty, there remains strong investor appetite for these types of projects in Australia.”

 

This deal is yet another example of the strong work of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Energy and Project Finance Team, who previously acted for:

 

  • the financiers in respect of the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm, which was the first wind farm to achieve financial close under the ACT wind FiT scheme;
  • the sponsors or financiers of over 75% of the wind farms to achieve financial close in Australia to date;
  • the sponsor or financiers on all but one wind farm to achieve financial close in Australia in the last four years; and
  • the developer of the first commercial scale solar project in Australia (Cth Solar Flagship Funding Program).

 

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