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Wind farm deal a breeze

Wind farm deal a breeze


A handful of firms have advised on the debt financing of the Hornsdale Wind Farm project in South Australia.

Firms: Baker & McKenzie (Neoen); Herbert Smith Freehills (banks); Minter Ellison (Siemens); Clayton Utz (John Laing)

Deal: Neoen, a French renewable energy company, has engaged in debt financing for the 100MW first stage of its Hornsdale Wind Farm project near Jamestown in South Australia.

Value: A$285 million

Area: Banking & Finance

Key players: The Baker & McKenzie team was led by partners Paul Curnow (pictured) and Sean Rush, who were supported by partners Kate Jefferson, Bryan Paisley, John Walker and Amrit MacIntyre, special counsel Kate Phillips and Teresa Ientile and senior associates Robyn Farrell and David Cooper.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partners Andrew Clark and Joel Rennie with support from senior associates Mark Montag, Alison Dodd, Adeline Pang, Daniel Lee, and solicitors Rhiannon Hough, Anna Lam, Emma Zarb, Rachael Le Tessier and Victoria Mataczynski.

Deal significance: According to a release from Baker & McKenzie, the deal is the first of the larger wind projects in Australia under the recent ACT 200MW Wind Auction, and is one of a few renewables projects in Australia to benefit from long-term debt financing.

Baker & McKenzie lead partner Paul Curnow said: “The financing of this project marks the start of what we expect to be an increasingly busy renewables market."

According to a release by HSF, the wind farm (owned by Neoen, international infrastructure investor John Laing, and local partner Megawatt Capital Investments) has secured a long-term debt financing package worth A$195 million, and signed contracts with Siemens for the supply of turbines, and the construction and long-term operation and maintenance of the project.

Construction of the wind farm will commence immediately. Once fully operational, it will provide 20 per cent of the power needs of the ACT and move the Territory closer to realising its target of having 90 per cent of its electricity supplied by renewable sources by 2020.

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