Baker McKenzie acts in cutting-edge clean energy project in Victoria

The $350m project includes a 194MW wind farm and a 20MW/34MWh battery storage

Baker McKenzie acts in cutting-edge clean energy project in Victoria

Baker McKenzie has helped to bring a cutting-edge clean energy project in regional Victoria closer to reality.

The global firm advised the financiers on the project financing of the Bulgana Green Power Hub (BGPH) project, which is comprised of a 194MW wind farm powered by Siemens-Gamesa turbines and an integrated 20MW/34MWh Tesla battery. The project is owned by Neoen Australia.

The $350m project will be funded through a combination of equity and long-term project financing from KfW IPEX-Bank, Société Générale, and Korea Development Bank, Baker McKenzie said. The project will provide reliable clean energy to what will be the largest greenhouse in Australia, to be built by Nectar Farms.

“The project involved an innovative financing package with long-term debt and hedging, a debt service reserve facility, as well as a long term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Victorian government under the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets model and a corporate PPA where BGPH will supply power to Nectar Farms' nearby glasshouse facility,” said David Cooper, banking and finance special counsel on the transaction.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin this month. The wind farm is expected to be completed in August 2019.

Sean Rush, Baker McKenzie’s lead partner on the transaction, said that the firm is proud to support groundbreaking renewable energy projects with novel facets, such as battery storage. The firm has worked on clean energy projects that involve corporate PPAs, long-term financings backed by a long-term hedge, the first agribusiness partnership of its kind in the world, and long-term operating and management arrangements, he said. Rush is the firm’s head of banking and finance in Australia.

“The project financing was completed in six weeks from the time of bank appointment, which could only have been done with the expertise and bench strength of the Baker McKenzie team combined with the sophistication of the financiers, the extensive renewables experience of Yuriy Davidov and the Elgar Middleton infrastructure and energy finance team and the market-leading expertise of the Neoen team.  I'm really proud of our team,” Rush said.

Paul Curnow, the firm’s head of renewable energy for the Asia-Pacific region, said that Baker McKenzie has delivered the majority of the renewable energy projects in the market over the past decade.

Rush, Curnow, and Cooper were supported by Mike Webb, Dan Middleton, Leanne Olden, Robyn Farrell, Simon Ni, Luis Grech, Miles Hurst, Aylin Cunsolo, Jennifer Hughes, Dora Stilianos, Teresa Ientile, Zoe Hilson, and Kate Phillips.


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