‘Landmark’ solar deal closed
A Queensland solar park has secured finance from two major banks.
Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation); Norton Rose Fulbright (RES Australia); King & Wood Mallesons (Lighthouse Infrastructure and Telstra)
Deal: NAB and Westpac agreed to finance Emerald Solar Park in central Queensland.
Area: Energy and resources; finance
Key players: The Herbert Smith Freehills team advising NAB and Westpac was led by partner Elizabeth Charlesworth (pictured), with support from partners Toby Anderson and Miles Wadley, senior associates Melissa Solomon, Daniel Ficyk, Tyson Carruthers, Matthew Soden-Taylor and solicitors Yun Yong, Arnica Mullins and Matt Wertheimer.
Deal significance: Herbert Smith Freehills advised NAB and Westpac on the project financing for Emerald Solar Park, developed by RES Australia.
Lighthouse Infrastructure’s solar fund has acquired the solar park, which comprises approximately 275,000 panels and has a capacity of 68 megawatts.
The project is underpinned by a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA), with Telstra as the offtaker.
RES Australia will continue to provide construction management services and long-term asset management services.
This is the first banked transaction in Australia with a corporate PPA from Telstra, according to a statement from HSF.
“We were excited to be involved in this significant transaction – reaching financial close is a landmark moment for RES Australia, Lighthouse, NAB, Westpac and Telstra, and we congratulate them all,” said lead partner Elizabeth Charlesworth.
“This is an important milestone for the development of further corporate PPAs in the market and demonstrates Telstra’s commitment to support renewable energy and to actively participate in the energy market to contribute to a more stable energy system while also reducing its energy costs.”
“All parties are now eager to see the construction of this important project get underway.”
Emerald Solar Park is expected to be fully operational by late 2018, powering over 35,000 Queensland homes.
Pictured: Herbert Smith Freehills partner Elizabeth Charlesworth