News, Deals & Awards

Ashurst has advised Australian renewable energy developer Edify Energy Pty Ltd (Edify Energy) on the completion of Australia's largest single solar project financing to build and operate three new large-scale solar farms: The Whitsunday and Hamilton Solar Farms in Queensland and the Gannawarra Solar Farm in Victoria. 

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Upon completion, the Victoria and Queensland markets will benefit from an expected additional 165 MW (AC) of renewable energy capacity by Q1 2018, generating enough electricity to power 87,000 households. 

Edify Energy and international investor Wirsol Energy Limited (Wirsol), who will oversee the development of the project, have provided equity including a transfer agreement.  Financing partners The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Commonwealth Bank and Nord LB committed to a syndicated A$230 million senior debt facility for the project.

The projects also secured a range of power purchase agreements and grant funding. The Whitsunday Solar Farm is supported by ARENA through the award of a grant of up to A$9.5 million and the Queensland Government by the way of a 20-year power purchase agreement under its Solar 150 program. The Gannawarra solar farm entered into a 13-year purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia and will be the first large-scale solar farm in Victoria. 

Lead partner on the deal Paul Newman (Utilities) said: "This represents more than two years of dedicated work by Edify Energy to complete the largest ever solar PV deal in Australia. We were proud to assist in relation to this landmark transaction and especially as it has established a new player in the Australian renewable energy market." 

The Ashurst team was led by partners Paul Newman (Utilities) and Ben Warne (Corporate). They were assisted by partner Damian Salsbury (Real Estate), counsel Suzanne Cleary and Teresa Scott, foreign associate Tamsyn Zulch, senior associates Carol Kahler, Lillian Yeung and Kellie Hairsine, and lawyers Tristan Shepherd, Rebecca Roach, Joey Chan, Rose Sanderson and Kimberley Hutchinson (Corporate, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Utilities); partner Jock O'Shea (Finance); partners Gavin Scott, John Briggs and Jeff Lynn and senior associates Paul Wilson and Sophie Osborn (Resources). 


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