NRF, KWM act in record-setting solar deal

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Two top firms have acted in the largest merchant financing of solar projects in Australia.

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) and King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) advised in the transactions connected to the Wemen Solar Farm in Victoria and the Clermont Solar Farm in Queensland.

NRF acted for the WIRCON Group’s Wirsol Energy on the acquisition, development, and financing of the solar projects. Wirsol reached financial close of the projects last month.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which is the sole debt financier of the projects, is advised by KWM. CEFC has committed $207m in funding, while WIRCON has provided equity for the projects, which are valued at $375m.

Simon Curie, NRF global head of energy, said that the firm began 2017 with Wirsol’s first transaction in Australia. The firm closed the year with Wirsol’s second transaction, which is one of the largest merchant financings of solar PV projects in the whole world.

Curie reiterated his earlier view that Australia’s renewable energy sector has “come of age.”

Curie and fellow partner Raymond Lou led the NRF team along with lead associate Tom Bramah. The team, which was made up of lawyers from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, included partners Emanuel Confos, Noni Shannon, Justin Lucas, Andrew Spalding, Rebecca Hoare, Keira Brennan, and James Morris. Associates Kathy Prince, Karel Potgieter, Stephen Choi, Nicole Bury, Jacqui Plant, Jacqui Fetchet, Naomi Field, Hui Tjioman, and Chris Sewry also acted on the deal.

KWM’s team was led by partner Claire Rogers, who was supported by senior associate Chris Allfrey and solicitors Priscilla Hejtmanek and Sam Purcell. KWM had earlier assisted CEFC in its $94m funding for Kennedy Energy Park, the world’s first combined solar, wind, and storage renewable energy project.

Related stories:
Top firms act on Australia’s largest solar project
World’s first solar+wind+storage project to proceed with top firms’ help

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