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Wind farm project hits stage 3 milestone

Wind farm project hits stage 3 milestone

The final stage of a major South Australian wind farm project is underway, with 35 new turbines soon connecting to the ACT electricity grid.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (KFW IPEX-Bank GmbH and Societe Generale); Baker McKenzie (Neoen)

Deal: The third stage of the Hornsdale Wind Farm project is underway, with two firms advising on long-term project finance debt facility, construction, long-term maintenance arrangements and grid connection.

Value: $870 million (total project value)

Area: Banking, finance and energy

Key players: The HSF team advising on construction, operation and financing aspects of the deal was led by partner Elizabeth Charlesworth. She was assisted by executive counsel Alison Dodd, senior associate Rupert Baker and solicitors Yun Yong, Josh Attard, Anna Lam and Arnica Mullins.

The Bakers team advising Neoen was led by partners Paul Curnow and Sean Rush. Partners Kate Jefferson and John Walker also assisted with the transaction.

The group was supported by special counsel Kate Phillips and Ana Gomiero-Guthrie, senior associates David Cooper and Tom Gastrell, associates Mike Webb, Lauren Drake, Luis Grech, Simon Ni, Justin Wong and Janet Cho.

Deal significance: Financial close has been reached for the third and last phase of the Hornsdale Wind Farm project in South Australia. An additional 35 wind turbines will be added to the site for this final stage.

Completion of the final stage will see Hornsdale boast 99 wind turbines in total and deliver a maximum capacity 309 MW into the National Electricity Market.

Both HSF and Bakers also advised the respective parties on phases one and two of the Hornsdale Wind Farm project, believed to attract over $870 million of global investment.

HSF said that every stage of the “landmark” project has been underpinned by a separate 20-year feed-in-tariff for the supply of power to ACT.

As part of an award under the ACT government’s reverse wind auction program, “stage three achieved a price of A$73 per MWh and will, together with stage one and stage two, make a significant contribution towards the ACT government’s target of having 100 per cent of its electricity supplied by renewable energy sources by 2020,” HSF said.

Hornsdale is one of Australia’s “most competitive renewable energy projects”, according to a statement released by Bakers.

“For the third time in 18 months, Neoen has secured a long-term debt facility from KFW IPEX-Bank GmbH and Societe Generale. This financing package aligns the interests of the owners, the ACT government, and Siemens,” Bakers said.

French renewable energy company Neoen is the majority owner Hornsdale Wind Farm project, located in Jamestown.

Like stages one and two, stage three of the wind farm is majority owned by French renewable energy producer.

The other owners of the project are international infrastructure investor John Laing and local partner Megawatt Capital Investments.

Siemens won the contract to construct, maintain and operate Hornsdale.

Commenting on the deal, HSF partner Elizabeth Charlesworth said that the number of Australian renewables projects which have reached milestones in recent months is indicative of growth in the local sector.

“The achievement of Financial Close on stage three of the Hornsdale Wind Farm represents a new level of innovation and achievement in the development of renewable energy projects in Australia.

“Neoen, its equity partners and their financiers should be congratulated for achieving one of the final milestones in this landmark multi-staged wind farm development,” Ms Charlesworth said.

 

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