Herbert Smith Freehills Advises on A$285 Million Hornsdale Wind Farm Project

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised on the construction, operation and financing for the 100 MW wind farm to be constructed in Hornsdale, approximately 200km north of Adelaide in South Australia. The wind farm will have a capital value of approximately A$285 million.

The wind farm, owned by French Renewable Energy Producer NEOEN, leading 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. The project is underpinned by a 20-year contract to sell power to the ACT.

Herbert Smith Freehills advised on all aspects of the project including the long-term project finance debt facility, project planning, land access arrangements, construction, long term maintenance arrangements, grid connection and corporate structuring.

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

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.

Andrew Clark, Head of Projects Australia and Asia, said: “This is truly ground-breaking transaction for a number of reasons. Being the first windfarm in Australia for Neoen and the lender group, it’s great to see new international investors entering the renewables market in Australia at this time.”
This deal is yet another example of the strong work of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Energy and Project Finance Team, including advising on another ‘first’ in the renewables sector in Australia. Herbert Smith Freehills have previously acted for:

  • the project company on reaching financial close for the 240MW wind farm to be developed at Ararat in west Victoria;
  • the financiers in respect of the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm, which was the first wind farm to achieve financial close under the ACT wind FiT scheme;
  • the sponsors or financiers of over 75% of the wind farms to achieve financial close in Australia to date; and
  • the sponsor or financiers on all but one wind farm to achieve financial close in Australia in the last four years.

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