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Ashurst has advised leading Australian renewables company, Edify Energy Pty Ltd (Edify Energy) on the development, financing and equity transfer to build and operate two large-scale solar farms in Northern Queensland: the 150-megawatt Daydream and 50-megawatt Hayman Solar Farms, in one of Australia's largest solar portfolio financings to date.

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Upon completion, the solar farms have a total capacity of 240MWp, generating enough power to provide 73,000 homes with clean energy. The solar farms are ready for construction and are expected to be fully operational by 2018.

Edify Energy will retain 10% of equity interest in the project and will provide construction and long-term asset management services. The remaining 90% has been acquired by global investment management services provider, BlackRock Real Assets. 

Financing partners the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and French bank, Natixis committed to a long-term syndicated debt facility for the project. The Daydream Solar Farm is underpinned by an offtake agreement with Origin Energy and the Hayman Solar Farm has been financed on a merchant basis. 

Lead partner on the deal, Paul Newman (Utilities) said: "It was a pleasure to advise Edify Energy on the development, investment into and project financing of the Daydream and Hayman Solar Farms. This transaction positions Edify as Australia's leading solar power project developer and asset manager, with five projects now under construction, and represents months of dedicated work by the Edify and Ashurst teams."

This is the largest transaction undertaken by Edify Energy to date. In March 2017, Ashurst advised Edify Energy on the development and financing of three large-scale solar farms: the Whitsunday and Hamilton Solar Farms in Queensland and the Gannawarra Solar Farm in Victoria. 

The team was led by partners Paul Newman (Utilities), Ben Warne (Corporate) and David Mason (Finance). They were assisted by partners John Briggs and Gavin Scott, counsel Lucy Bretherton, senior associate Paul Wilson and lawyer Tristan Shepherd (Resources & Utilities); senior associate Rebecca Roach and lawyer Joey Chan (Corporate); counsel Tim Macmillan, lawyers Jowa Chan and Wilson Lu (Finance); partner Mark Disney, senior associates Lillian Yeung and Kate Robertson and graduate Eliza Brierley (Infrastructure); with senior associates Carol Kahler and Harry Stone (Real Estate). 

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