Global firms work on $360m NSW wind farm

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Two global law firms have played key roles in what will be one of the largest wind farms in New South Wales.

K&L Gates advised RATCH-Australia on the 226.8MW Collector Wind Farm, which recently reached financial close. The global firm said that the project’s 54 wind turbines are expected to produce enough electricity to power 80,000 homes through its 25-year operating lifespan.

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) advised Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which provided $180m in debt funding to construct the wind farm. CEFC is the sole debt financier of the project, investing half of the funds required allowing the project to reach financial close and for construction to begin.

The Collector Wind Farm is valued at $360m and is expected to be completed by 2021, K&L Gates said. KWM said that the CEFC’s funding of the project brings its large-scale wind investments to more than 2GW of capacity and nearly $1bn in commitments.

Luke Westmore, an energy, infrastructure, and resources partner, headed the K&L Gates that advised on the project. He was supported by senior associate Jordan Lyon and lawyers Nicole Guglielmi, Rachel Lawlor, and Claudia Brkic.

Partner Alan Maclean and senior associate Nick Cerche advised RATCH on project finance, while property advice was provided by partner Sam Brown, who was supported by special counsel Tracey Jordan, senior associate Karen Yuan, and lawyer Eleni Brooks.

Partner Kirstie Richards and senior associate Larissa Hauser handled planning matters, while corporate advice was provided by partner Dan Atkin, special counsel Clive Cachia, and lawyer Rachel McNally.

“After having had the pleasure of advising RATCH on its Mt Emerald Wind Farm project which is now in its first year of operation in Queensland, I congratulate RATCH on beginning another exciting project, its first in New South Wales and its fifth wind farm in Australia. RATCH continues to play a vital role in Australia's renewable energy sector as a major producer of clean energy, and our K&L Gates team is delighted to have been able to support our client on this landmark project,” Westmore said.

Partner Claire Rogers headed the KWM team that advised CEFC on the financing of the Collector Wind Farm. She was supported by senior associate Chris Allfrey and solicitor Priscilla Hejtmanek.

“We are delighted to have worked with the CEFC to reach this significant milestone of 2GW of capacity as well as supporting the fully merchant project’s accelerated development and unique pricing approach via the debt funding,” Rogers said. “Not having to rely on commercial bank funds means that Collector has the freedom to sell its energy on the spot market and not be locked into long term supply contracts.”