$40m solar power project shines bright
Four firms were involved in advising on the acquisition and financing of one of Australia's largest solar farms.
Firms: Baker & McKenzie (Neoen), Mills Oakley (ARENA), King & Wood Mallesons (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), Pegasus Legal (Juwi)
Deal: French renewable energy company Neoen acquired the DeGrussa Solar Farm, to power Sandfire's DeGrussa Copper Mine in remote Western Australia, with financing partially provided by ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Value: $40 million
Key players: The team from Bakers was headed by Paul Curnow (pictured), while partners Sean Rush and Kate Jefferson also worked on the deal. The Mills Oakley side was led by partners Vince Sharma and Petar Kuessner. Pegasus Legal directors Gerald Arends and Swati Johri handled negotiations for Juwi.
Deal significance: The solar farm will make a significant difference to the DeGrussa mine’s energy consumption, offsetting about five million litres of diesel per year, more than 20 per cent of Sandire’s total diesel consumption.
The deal has been partially financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which committed $15 million in debt finance, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which provided $20.9 million in Australian Government funding support.
Bakers partner Paul Curnow said the set-up set a new record for solar projects.
“This is a real boost of confidence for the renewable energy sector and, at $40 million, is one of the world’s largest solar storage projects. It provides peak load power to a remote copper mining operation in Western Australia,” Mr Curnow said.
Mills Oakley partner Vince Sharma said the project could have a significant impact on the resources sector.
“This is an innovative leading-edge project, which has the potential to transform the Australian renewable energy industry and the mining sector,” Mr Sharma said.