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Outlook bright for Qld solar farm

Outlook bright for Qld solar farm

Gerard Pike

Funding has been secured for the Collinsville Solar Farm project.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (Clean Energy Finance Corporation); DLA Piper (RATCH-Australia Corporation Limited); Allens (Australian Renewable Energy Agency)

Deal: RATCH-Australia Corporation Limited (RATCH) secured funding to develop the Collinsville Solar Farm in Queensland.

Value: $100 million

Area: Banking and finance, energy and resources

Key players: HSF partner Gerard Pike (pictured) led the team advising the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). He was supported by executive counsel Alison Dodd and solicitors Matthew Selth, Anna Lam, Sarah Oh and Erin MacMullin.

Deal significance: RATCH secured $100 million of funding from the CEFC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to develop a solar farm near the town of Collinsville, south-east of Townsville.

CEFC is contributing $60 million in senior debt, as part of $370 million it has allocated to various large-scale solar projects. ARENA has committed to a $9.5 million grant and the rest of the funding is coming from RATCH’s equity.

The construction of the 42.5 megawatt AC solar farm will be managed by UGL Engineering Proprietary Limited. It is expected to be operational in May 2019.

“Financial close for Collinsville Solar Farm was achieved quickly and smoothly, with great co-operation between CEFC, ARENA and RATCH,” said Herbert Smith Freehills lead partner Gerard Pike.

“This project is a great example of the versatility of large-scale solar, utilising site and grid infrastructure previously used for superseded thermal generation. This year, 2017, has been the long-awaited ‘breakout’ year for the large-scale solar industry in Queensland, where the solar resource is among the best in the world.”

Year 2017 has so far been a bumper for renewable energy projects, with many wind and solar developments moving forward, including:
The White Rock Solar Farm in NSW;
The Stockyard Hill Wind Farm in Victoria;
The Darling Downs Solar Farm in Queensland; and 
The Bungala Solar PV project in South Australia

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