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Funds secured for Qld’s largest wind farm

Funds secured for Qld’s largest wind farm

Luke Westmead, Mills Oakley

A national firm has advised RATCH-Australia on Queensland’s first large-scale wind farm, valued at $400 million.

Firms: Mills Oakley (RATCH-Australia); Herbert Smith Freehills (ANZ, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, NAB and Societe Generale)

Deal: The Mount Emerald wind farm in Queensland will go ahead with ANZ, NAB, Societe Generale and MUFG as lenders.

Value: $400 million

Area: Projects

Key players: The Mills Oakley team was led by partner Luke Westmore (pictured) and included partners Daniel Livingston and David Marschke, special counsel Danny O'Brien and Damiano Castelli, senior associate Alex Chernishev, associates Tamin Rahman and Mary-Anne El-Hage, and lawyer Jordan Lyon.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Gerard Pike, with support from senior associate Micaela McLean and solicitors Dale Sheedy and Toby Breheny on the financing package. Partner Kristen Percy and executive counsel Peter Davis assisted the financiers on the project’s corporate and procurement aspects and were supported by senior associate Alison Dodd and solicitors Amélie Fillion and Jennifer Wu.

Deal significance: Power producer RATCH-Australia has the go-ahead for the Mount Emerald wind farm in Queensland, having secured ANZ, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, NAB and Societe Generale as commercial lenders.

Valued at $400 million, this project is the largest wind farm ever developed in Queensland and the largest project financed wind farm transaction in Australia in 2016, according to Mills Oakley.

The Mount Emerald wind farm, on the Atherton Tablelands near Mareeba in northern Queensland, will comprise 53 wind turbines supplied by Vestas and potentially generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes each year.

The construction of the wind farm is expected to commence in early 2017 and a 15-year power purchase agreement with Ergon Energy has already been secured, according to Herbert Smith Freehills.

Mills Oakley’s lead partner Luke Westmore observed that this project would assist Queensland to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets.

“The Queensland government has committed to generating 50 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030,” he said.

“As Queensland’s first large-scale wind farm, the Mount Emerald project represents a major step forward in this journey. We are privileged to have advised RATCH on such a groundbreaking project, which continues MO’s active involvement in the renewable energy sector in Queensland.”

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