Firm: DLA Piper (The Australian Renewable Energy Agency)
Deal: The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has been advised on the financial close of its latest project, the Whitsunday Solar Farm.
Value: $9.5 million
Area: Finance, projects
Key players: The DLA Piper legal team was led by finance and projects partner Kate Papailiou (pictured), with assistance from senior associate Marnie Carroll, senior foreign legal associate Gemma Lawrence and solicitor Billie Stevens.
Deal significance: The Whitsunday Solar Farm is located in Collinsville, Queensland.
It marks one of three large-scale solar projects to be developed by Edify Energy and Wirsol, along with the Hamilton Solar Farm and Gannawarra Solar Farm.
According to a statement from DLA Piper, the portfolio of projects is financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and NORD/LB. ARENA will benefit from knowledge-sharing activities across all three projects.
“This is a landmark transaction for the Australian renewable energy market as the first portfolio of solar projects to achieve financial close,” said Ms Papailiou.
"With innovative structures, come challenges to usual positions and modes of thinking – but also great opportunity for all stakeholders to work collaboratively and creatively. We are proud to have been a part of this process with ARENA, the sponsors and their counsel."
The statement from DLA noted that the Whitsunday Solar Farm project received a Solar 150 Incentive Deed from the Queensland government. The Queensland government undertook a parallel bidding process for projects that were successful in receiving grant funding in the ARENA funding round.
ARENA has committed $92 million in funding for 12 new large-scale solar PV plants across Australia, consisting of 480MW in total, according to the statement.
DLA Piper has also advised ARENA as its portfolio counsel for all shortlisted projects and as project counsel advising on the funding agreements for the Parkes Solar Farm, Griffith Solar Farm and Dubbo Solar Farm – all in regional New South Wales.