DLA Piper guides Spanish company on Australian first renewable energy transaction

This is Grupo Cobra's first significant project in Australia

DLA Piper guides Spanish company on Australian first renewable energy transaction

DLA Piper has been tapped to advise Grupo Cobra on its role in the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone Transmission Network – the Spanish company’s first significant project in Australia.

The project is set to support the decarbonisation and stabilisation of the NSW electricity grid, according to lead partner José de Ponte. He added that the project “is the first of its kind in the Australian market – the delivery of major, regulated, renewable energy transmission infrastructure via a PPP structure”.

The project covers the design, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of 330kV and 500kV clean energy transmission lines and related infrastructure, the firm said. It is expected to garner $10bn in investments by 2030 and a 35-year concession period.

Under the new transmission infrastructure, solar and wind generators can link to the grid, as can energy storage providers. The infrastructure “required a number of complex environmental, planning and other regulatory approvals. Covering an area of about 20,000 square kilometres, the geographical scope of the project is immense”, de Ponte said.

Last year, Grupo Cobra, in conjunction with consortium partners Acciona and Endeavour Energy, entered into a commitment deed with the NSW government to be the preferred network operator for this significant project.

de Ponte led DLA Piper’s team in working on the matter. He received support from special counsel Marnie Calli; senior associates Victoria Brockhall and Akaash Singh, and solicitor Halima Ansari. Senior consultant Gerry Bean, partner Chris Mitchell, senior associate Nathaniel Rowe and solicitor Hugh Wetherill provided specialist guidance on corporate structuring and inward investment. Partner Alex Regan, special counsel Caroline Rowe and solicitor Sophia Davies offered financing input. Partner Adam Smith and senior associate Jason Carli provided taxation advice. Partner Paula Gonzalez de Castejon from the Madrid office gave local law advice.

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