IN a bid to make money out of thin air, AGL Energy has sold the long-term offtake and management of its Hallett 4 wind farm in South Australia to the Energy Infrastructure Investments group.
Law firm Gilbert + Tobin has advised AGL on the deal, using a host of lawyers across multiple practices.
AGL will receive $88 million in development fees from the transaction, and it will continue to operate the wind farm. It will retain all rights to the power generated by the farm until 2036.
Gilbert + Tobin advised on the sale, including vendor due diligence and project financing. Corporate partner, Vincent Dwyer who specialises in infrastructure and energy, led the team, with assistance by lawyer Jamie Ukra from the firm's project finance and energy team.
John Schembri, a project finance partner, Hanh Chau, a stamp duty partner, Amanda Hempel, a real estate partner, Emanuel Confos, a partner from the construction team, Noni Shannon, a special counsel from the environment practice and Caroline Power, a special counsel from project finance, also worked on the deal.
The team worked with Kirstin Mann, AGL’s instructing counsel, on the transaction.
Gilbert + Tobin has previously advised AGL, including on the sale of its Wattle Point, Hallett 1 and Hallett 2 wind farms. The firm said it used a similar structure for Hallett 4.
The latest arrangement "provides AGL with the necessary flexibility to maintain its leadership position in renewable energy generation and demonstrates some of the more innovative approaches the market is adopting to balance the risks and complexity of the national electricity market with the reality of a carbon-constrained future," corporate partner Dwyer said.
The sale will create development fees, to be paid progressively on completion of construction on the project, with $50 million to $60 million due in 2010, and the balance in the 2011 financial year.
Proceeds from the sale will be used by AGL to lighten the load of ongoing development expenses, which are forecast to be about $160 million from October 2009, as well as anticipated project commissioning in May 2011. It also recoups the development costs of about $150 million incurred to date.
AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets, with over 900 MW of capacity currently in operation, Business Spectator reports.