HSF confirms role in landmark clean energy deal

The firm advised Windlab as it signed the biggest renewable PPA with Rio Tinto

HSF confirms role in landmark clean energy deal

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has guided Australian renewable energy company Windlab on what it said was the country's biggest clean energy transaction to date.

Under this landmark renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) Windlab signed with Rio Tinto, Rio Tinto committed to acquiring 80% of the electricity generated by Windlab's 1.4GW Wind Renewable Energy Hub in Bungaban. The project will need up to 204 wind turbines and is expected to produce enough clean energy for approximately 740,000 homes across Queensland.

“This deal is a significant milestone for not only our client, Windlab, but for Australia’s energy transition ambitions, with an expected 4 million tonnes of carbon to be eliminated each year once the Bungaban project is operational”, lead partner Gerard Pike said.

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Windlab CEO John Martin confirmed that construction on the project is set to commence in late 2025.

“Bungaban is our most mature project within our South Queensland Renewable Generation Hub, which consists of wind, solar and battery storage projects. It’s a significant project within our renewable energy portfolio and we’re excited to bring it to life”, Martin said.

Pike led HSF’s team on the transaction. He received support from solicitors Jeremy Soh, Tia Liu and Alice Dales.

HSF named leading law graduate employer for second year

For the second year running, HSF was named Australia's Top Law Graduate Employer for 2024 by international graduate job platform Prosple.

Prosple evaluated the graduate programmes offered by Australian law firms in line with student preference and quality of the programs. The platform utilised data from student applications and graduate reviews.

“It’s fantastic that our program is so highly regarded among the student and graduate cohorts in Australia, and that we’re being recognised for our high-performing and supportive firm culture”, said James Keane, HSF's senior manager for graduate recruitment. “From the moment our graduates are onboarded, they get exposure to working on complex and high profile cases and deals across Australia and the globe for our clients, one-on-one mentoring, as well as various opportunities including development training and our international graduate secondment program”.

Corporate partner Maged Girgis, who mentors graduate lawyer Rebecca McCaughan, said that the firm’s partners recognised “the importance of investing quality time to grow and develop young talent and to meaningfully involve our graduates on matters as early as possible so that they can reach their potential”.

HSF confirmed that it would be bringing in a new intake of graduates in March.

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