Top firms act on Australia’s largest solar project

by |

Seven top firms worked together on the purchase of the largest ready-to-build solar project in Australia yet.

Norton Rose Fulbright fielded a cross-border team to advise an international consortium composed of Italian power company Enel (through its renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power) and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF) on the purchase of the 275MW Bungala Solar PV project from Reach Solar Energy, which was advised by PwC and its law firm PwC Legal

Hive Legal advised on South Australian law-related matters, King & Wood Mallesons acted for the lenders, and Allens acted for local transmission network operator EletraNet. Mills Oakley was Australian legal adviser, while Hogan Lovells acted as foreign law legal adviser to Spanish company Elecnor, which is building the project as EPC contractor. 

The Bungala Solar project is expected to generate around 570GWh a year, enabling it to power about 82,000 Australian homes and avoid 520,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Construction of the 137.5MW first phase of the project is expected to start by mid-2017, and the whole project is expected to come online by the third quarter of 2018.  

“South Australia is viewed as a lab for the transformation of the energy sector. Bungala is a world class solar PV project which will add much needed capacity to the South Australian electricity system and bring new industry to the Port Augusta region,” said Simon Curie, NRF’s global head of energy. “

NRF fielded lawyers from its Sydney, Melbourne, Milan, and Amsterdam offices on the project. It worked closely with the senior in-house counsel from Enel, Edgar Miller and Christina Souto Padron. The team was led by Currie, who was supported by lead special counsel Raymond Lou.  

The team included partners Noni Shannon, Emanuel Confos, and Justin Lucas; senior associates Kelly Davies, Steven Choi, Jacqueline Plant, Claire Whitney, and Nicole Bury; associates Alicia Snyders, Sonali Seneviratne, Lana Tian, Tom Bramah, and Ben Carrozzi; and lawyers Mehere Maladina and Sorrel Palmer. 

Partners Arturo Sferruzza in Milan and Wouter Hertzberger in Amsterdam also advised on the deal.  

NRF is currently advising on more than 20 large scale solar projects across Australia. Recently, it advised the Australian Renewable Energy Agency on the funding for the Manildra Solar project in New South Wales and Wirsol Energy on the acquisition and financing of the Whitsunday project in Queensland.

Related stories:
Norton Rose Fulbright leads 2017 law firm mergers
Australia’s solar coming of age: Firms make hay while sun shines