New Zealand’s and Australia’s two largest renewable electricity generators, Meridian and AGL, have announced a new joint venture to build what will be the Southern Hemisphere’s largest wind farm.
Allens Arthur Robinson is acting for Meridian Energy Ltd , New Zealand's largest renewable electricity generator, on the development of the $1 billion wind farm.
AGL CEO and managing director, Michael Fraser, said the project will significantly contribute to the delivery of Australia’s 2020 expanded renewable energy target.
“The recent passage of the RET legislation through Federal parliament has provided investment certainty for Macarthur and other renewable projects. Together with Meridian and our contractors we will continue to work with the local community to deliver clean renewable energy that has the capacity to power 220,000 Australian homes,” he said.
The project was formally launched yesterday by the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby, and the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong.
Allens, led by partner Anna Collyer, is advising Meridian on all aspects of the transaction, including negotiation of the joint venture and offtake arrangements with AGL, negotiation of the arrangements with the landowners and in relation to the EPC Contract entered into by Meridian and AGL for the construction of the wind farm by Vestas and Leighton.
Allens has worked with Meridian previously, including the acquisition of the Mt Millar wind farm from Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund last May.
According to Meridian's general counsel, Jason Stein: “Meridian is thrilled to have Allens involved in this project from the start. Allens have been an integral part of the Meridian deal team and has delivered an excellent outcome for the business as it re-establishes its renewable energy position in Australia.”
Allens’ Collyer said the transaction shows that companies are prepared to make major investments in renewable energy as part of the solution to climate change provided the regulatory environment supports it.
“The recent enhancements to the renewable energy target provided the investment certainty they needed. Those enhancements will require around 9,500MW of new renewable generation capacity to be built this decade.
“This joint venture agreement is part of Meridian's wind investment plans in Australia and the project will benefit from bringing together the largest renewable developers in New Zealand and Australia,” she said.
The building of the Macarthur wind farm is due to be completed in 2013. It will have the capacity to power more than 220,000 homes.