Banks achieve financial close on Victorian solar farm with help from HSF

The 85MWac solar project is already under construction

Banks achieve financial close on Victorian solar farm with help from HSF

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) helped ABN AMRO and ING achieve financial close for the Winton Solar Farm.

Already under construction, the 85MWac project near Benalla, Victoria is expected to produce enough electricity to power about 50,000 homes. The project developed by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) is also expected to cut carbon emissions of about 150,000 tonnes every year.

Winton is the fifth of the six projects in the Victorian Renewable Energy 2017 Reverse Auction Scheme, which supports the state government’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) that legislated a target for the state to source half its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

HSF fielded a cross-practice team to advise on the financing of the project, which was composed of debt and hedging facilities provided by ABN AMRO and ING.

The team was headed by partner Gerard Pike, who was supported by partner Alison Dodd, senior associates Caroline Rowe and Marianna Schneider, solicitors Beryl Yan and Will Kennedy, and graduate Luke Kavanagh.

“It is great to start 2020 having helped ABN AMRO, ING and FRV to achieve financial close on a large new solar project for Victoria. Construction of Winton Solar Farm would not have happened without the Victorian government’s commitment to renewable energy. It is another meaningful step towards reducing Australia’s carbon footprint and combating climate change,” Pike said.

FRV is a longstanding client of HSF. The global legal giant advised the company or its financiers on four of FRV’s recent solar projects in Australia: the 20MWac Royalla Solar Farm in ACT, the 56MWac Moree Solar Farm in New South Wales, and the 100MWac-each Clare Solar Farm and Lilyvale Solar Farm in Queensland.

HSF also acted on the 336MW Dondonnell Wind Farm and the 157MW Mortlake Wind Farm, which are also part of the 2017 VRET auction.

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