Four firms act on $109m sale of NSW solar plant

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Four firms have advised on the project financing and sale of the Manildra Solar Farm located in regional New South Wales, the latest to reach financial close as part of Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) large-scale solar competitive funding round.

Hebert Smith Freehills and Pinsent Masons acted for First Solar, which acquired the project from developer Infigen, which was advised by Gilbert + Tobin, at financial close. Norton Rose Fulbright advised ARENA, and Allens acted for Société Générale and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, which provided project financing.

HSF advised First Solar on the funding agreement and all other aspects of the funding for the 48.5 MW Manildra project. NRF advised ARENA including on the $9.81 funding provided by the organisation. The deal is worth approximately $109m, NRF said.

The project, which will utilise more than 466,000 of First Solar’s single axis tracking advanced thin film PV modules, involves RCR O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor, with construction scheduled for completion mid-2018.

Set to produce enough energy to power 14,000 homes and displace more than 91,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per annum, the project is also supported by a 13-year power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia for 100% of the generated power and large-scale generation certificates.

The HSF team was led by project finance partner Elizabeth Charlesworth, who was supported by partners Jinny Chaimungkalanont and Laura Sheridan-Mouton, senior associate Emma Zarb, and solicitors Yun Yong, Elise Bulla, Arnica Mullins, and Hiroko Ito.

The Pinsent Masons Finance & Projects team was led by partners Anthony Arrow and Margaret Cole, who were supported by partners Ewan Robertson and David Rennick; senior associates Kate Terry, James Moor, Louisa Wallace, and Alexis Coleman; associate Tanvir Ahmed; and lawyers Julian Grant and Stanley Wang.

The NRF team was led by global head of energy, Simon Currie, who was supported by lead associate Tom Bramah, and partners Noni Shannon, Emanuel Confos, and Michael McKee; senior associates Kelly Davies and Steven Choi; associate Catherine Ding; and lawyer Jacqueline Fetchet.


Related stories:
Australia’s solar coming of age: Firms make hay while sun shines
NRF acts as Australian company sells major SA, NSW wind projects

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