Hornsdale Wind Farm advised on platform refinancing
Herbert Smith Freehills has advised on the $650 million consolidated platform refinancing of Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the Hornsdale Wind Farm, located about 200 kilometres north of Adelaide in South Australia.
Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills (incoming and exiting lenders, Hornsdale).
Deal: HSF has advised on “innovative refinancing” for the Hornsdale Wind Farm, which comprises 99 wind turbines with a total capacity of 309 megawatts and was the first multi-staged, separately project-financed wind farm in Australia. All three stages of the project – on which the firm advised in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively – are now complete and in operation, the firm said in a statement.
Area: Project finance.
Value: $650 million.
Key players: The HSF were led by partners Elizabeth Charlesworth and Andrew McLean, with support from senior associate Gabby Herron-Cartwright and solicitors Hiroko Ito, Dave Thomas and Jacinta Dzarir.
Deal significance: Ms Charlesworth said: “The successful refinancing of the landmark Hornsdale Wind Farm on a platform basis represents the evolution of the Australian renewables market.
“While the sector is still experiencing growth, this transaction shows that onshore wind is increasingly being seen as a stable and mature asset class capable of delivering stable long-term returns for both debt and equity.
“This refinancing also shows that despite recent challenges in the market, the appetite is still there for good projects with solid fundamentals. Refinancings such as this one can deliver significant value to both debt and equity, and we expect to see a number of these platform-style financings in the coming year as investors look to consolidate their portfolios and capitalise on the benefits that come with economies of scale.”