Norton Rose Fulbright advises UNSW Sydney on innovative long term renewable energy PPA

Global Knowledge January 16, 2018

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised University of New South Wales Sydney on its innovative procurement of renewable energy. The tripartite arrangement with Origin and Maoneng allows UNSW to meets its zero carbon goals and provides a long term price hedge in a volatile NSW electricity market.

UNSW has entered into a  power purchase agreement (PPA) with the 200 megawatt (MW) Sunraysia Solar Farm, located near Balranald in south western NSW and owned and developed by Maoneng Australia. Origin will supply electricity to UNSW’s premises and “firm’ the volumes provided by the solar farm.

One of the first corporate PPAs to sign in Australia, this is the first of its kind to effectively ‘marry’ a retailer with the developer and the corporate.  

Simon Currie, Global head of energy at Norton Rose Fulbright noted:

“The university sector is a key focus for Norton Rose Fulbright. UNSW has helped develop a model which we believe can be replicated throughout Australia and help universities and other users meet their sustainability goals and achieve a lower all-in power price.”

Kelly Davies, senior consultant at Norton Rose Fulbright, who has worked on a number of corporate PPAs in the Australian market, many of which are in the early stages of procurement or have not yet been signed, commented:

“UNSW is a true leader of innovation. The PPA market has been extremely dynamic in the last 12 months and deals like UNSW’s have been critical in driving real change in the way universities and other users procure energy. The UNSW model is just one example of this and will undoubtedly open doors for others to follow as the wave of corporate PPAs continues into 2018”. 

Construction of the Sunraysia Solar Farm will commence in early 2018 and it is scheduled to be fully operational and commence supply to UNSW by mid-2019. Commitments by the developer under the PPA will ensure economic benefits flow through to the local community and deliver opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing with UNSW for university students and staff.

The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by Simon Currie and included Kelly Davies and Jacqueline Fetchet. Clifford Chance acted for Maoneng Australia, Origin Energy was advised by Hive Legal and Energy Action provided energy market analysis and advice to UNSW.

Norton Rose Fulbright is a leading global law firm in renewable energy and project finance and has advised clients on corporate PPA deals across Australia and around the world.

Our team is at the forefront of the development of the corporate procurement of renewable energy in Australia and globally.    We work closely with key stakeholders such as Renewable Energy Buyers Forum, WWF and WBCSD.  In 2017 we advised RES Australia the corporate PPA signed with Telstra – the first corporate PPA signed in Australia. In 2016 Norton Rose Fulbright co-authored the World Business Council for Sustainable Development report on corporate PPAs, available here.