CORRS Chambers Westgarth and the Crown Solicitor's Office have advised SA Water on its agreement with AGL for the supply of renewable energy to South Australia’s new desalination plant, now under construction at Port Stanvac, south of Adelaide.
Corrs had been retained by the South Australian Crown Solicitor.
South Australia secured its position as the leader in the use of renewable energy this month when it announced it would use green power for Adelaide's $1.83 billion desalination plant, the state's premier Mike Rann said.
Rann announced early this month that electricity supply company AGL had been contracted to supply 100 per cent renewable energy to the plant over the next 20 years.
Under the agreement, AGL will supply the electricity to be consumed by the 100 gigalitre per annum (or 300 megalitre per day) Adelaide Desalination Plant - an annual electricity requirement of up to 500 gigawatt hours. The award of the agreement follows a competitive bid process conducted by SA Water.
The CSO team was lead by Lena Grant and included Colin Hackett. Corrs’ energy partner Michael MacGinley, together with Bruce Adkins and Trent Schupp, also advised SA Water.
“This deal was of strategic significance to SA Water and the State of South Australia. It was vital for them to lock in a secure, long term supply of competitively priced renewable energy for the Adelaide Desalination Plant," MacGinley said.
“One of the major challenges was structuring a 20-year deal in the context of the uncertain and changing legislative framework for renewable energy, and in the midst of the ongoing debate about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
"Another challenge was the announcement by the Federal Government, mid-way through the procurement process, that additional GreenPower purchases under the National GreenPower Accreditation Program would have the effect of reducing the emissions caps to be set under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
"This change in Federal Government policy resulted in a changed approach providing for the procurement of renewable energy produced from GreenPower accredited generators located in South Australia. In the end an enhanced environmental outcome could be achieved by SA Water at no additional cost," MacGinley said.
SA Water’s deputy project director and Senior Commercial Manager for the Adelaide Desalination Project, Mauro Farinola said: “The input of [MacGinley, Adkins and Schupp] during the evaluation and negotiations, in particular, helped secure a much better position for SA Water.”