Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills and Pinsent Masons (First Solar); Allens (Lenders Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Société Générale); Gilbert + Tobin (Infigen); Norton Rose Fulbright (Australian Renewable Energy Agency)
Deal: First Solar’s new solar PV farm located near the NSW town of Manildra has reached financial close.
Value: $9.81 million
Key players: The HSF team advising First Solar was led by partner Elizabeth Charlesworth. Partners Jinny Chaimungkalanont and Laura Sheridan Mouton, senior associate Emma Zarb and solicitors Yun Yong, Elise Bulla, Arnica Mullins and Hiroko Ito assisted with the deal.
Pinsent Masons advised First Solar on finance and projects aspects of the deal. The Pinsent Masons team was led by Anthony Arrow and Margaret Cole. Partners Ewan Robertson and David Rennick assisted. Others helping with the transaction included senior associates Kate Terry, James Moor, Louisa Wallace and Alexis Coleman, associate Tanvir Ahmed and solicitors Julian Grant and Stanley Wang.
The NRF team advising ARENA, who awarded a grant of $9.81 million for the project, was led by global head of energy Simon Currie.
Lead associate Tom Bramah assisted with the deal alongside partners Noni Shannon, Emanuel Confos and Michael McKee, senior associates Kelly Davies and Steven Choi, associate Catherine Ding and solicitor Jacqueline Fetchet.
First Solar’s Manildra Solar Farm was acquired from Infigen. The project has now reached financial close and includes a $9.8 million grant under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) competitive funding round for large-scale solar photovoltaics (PV).
First Solar will provide asset management, operations and maintenance services to the project.
The construction of 48.5 MWAC solar PV farm will be overseen by RCR O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd (RCR) and is expected to be completed mid next year. RCR has also won the engineering and procurement contract for the project near Manildra, NSW.
Upon completion, the solar farm will utilise over 466,000 of First Solar’s single axis tracking advanced thin film PV modules. The site is expected to produce power for 14,000 homes and to displace more than 91,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum.
A 13-year power purchase agreement has been entered into with EnergyAustralia for 100 per cent of the power generated from the Manildra Solar Farm’s large-scale generation certificates to go to the energy supplier.
Commenting on the deal, HSF partner Elizabeth Charlesworth described the transaction as a milestone for the solar farm project.
“We are delighted to congratulate First Solar, ARENA, EnergyAustralia and RCR O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd on reaching this milestone which demonstrates their firm commitment to this project and the renewable energy industry in Australia,” Ms Charlesworth said.
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