Norton Rose Fulbright advises RES Australia on financial close of Emerald Solar Park in Queensland with first Telstra Corporate PPA

Global Business October 30, 2017

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright was the lead advisor to RES Australia on the development, financing and sale of the 68MW Emerald Solar Park in Queensland.  This project benefits from the first  PPA entered into by Telstra.

NAB and Westpac have provided project financing  and Lighthouse Infrastructure has acquired 100% of the project through its Lighthouse Solar Fund.

RES Australia will undertake the construction management and asset management on behalf of Lighthouse and has appointed RCR O’Donnell Griffin to construct the project. The project will make a significant contribution to the Queensland Government’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and will create 150-200 direct jobs and 320 indirect positions in Queensland’s Central Highlands region during the construction phase.

We advised RES Australia on the PPA with Telstra and all aspects of the development, financing and sale of Emerald Solar Park. 

Norton Rose Fulbright global head of energy Simon Currie commented:

"This is a an A-league transaction.  RES are one of the most successful renewable energy developers globally.   Lighthouse Infrastructure is the leading Australian investment firm focussed on sustainable infrastructure.  Telstra is a highly creditworthy counterparty to the PPA.   RCR has become a preferred EPC Contractor for solar projects and the financing is provided by 2 of the Big 4 banks.  All of this is a sign of the growing maturity of the Australian renewable energy sector.  Policies will come and go, quality projects will be enduring ”

Senior Consultant Kelly Davies, who led the project commented:

“It was a pleasure to assist RES Australia achieving its first solar project development in Australia with the first Telstra Corporate PPA. This transaction will pave the way for other developers looking to successfully develop projects with corporate offtakers and corporate offtakers looking at direct renewable energy procurement.”

The team was led by Simon Currie and Kelly Davies, and was supported by partners Noni Shannon and Raymond Lou, as well Special Counsels Will Webster and Claire Forster, Senior Associates Lawry Brownlie, Kathy Prince, Juliette King and Melissa Park, Associates Joanna Zhou, Chris Sewry, Emily John, Jacqui Fetchet and Tom Bramah and Paralegal Ellen Laughton.

Our team is currently working on over 30 large scale solar projects across Australia. We recently advised Canadian Solar on the investment by Foresight Group in portfolio of solar projects in Queensland; as well as advising international solar energy firm Wirsol Energy on its acquisition of the 110MW Wemen sun farm near Mildura, Victoria. 

Earlier this year we advised a fund managed by BlackRock on its first foray into the Australia market with the acquisition of a majority interest in a portfolio of two large scale solar PV projects in Queensland and Wirsol Energy on the acquisition and project financing of a portfolio of three large scale solar PV projects in Queensland and Victoria – the first portfolio acquisition and financing of utility scale solar PV in Australia and the first financing for solar PV with merchant exposure and long term debt from the local market.

Notes for editors:

Norton Rose Fulbright 

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