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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised National Australia Bank Limited and Danish export credit agency, EKF Danmarks Eksportkredit on the project financing for the development of the A$84.5 million Kiata Wind Farm project located 50km north west of Horsham, Victoria.

Developed by Windlab, construction of the 30MW, nine turbine wind farm is due to start in early 2017, with first production scheduled towards the end of 2017. When operational, the project is expected to provide enough clean energy for more than 20,000 households each year.

The project has secured investment from John Laing as the major equity partner, with the remainder of the project to be owned by Windlab and the project’s neighbouring property owners. The successful close of Kiata Wind Farm marks another milestone for Victoria’s wind industry and is a significant step towards reducing the state’s carbon footprint.

The project has received support from the Victorian Government via the entry into an innovative supply agreement to supply large scale generation certificates (LGCs) to the Victorian Government.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Gerard Pike, supported by partner Kristen Percy.

Gerard said: “It is great to help NAB and EKF to achieve construction and long term project financing for this project. The EKF funding, as well as the Victorian Government LGC offtake for this Kiata project, shows there are options for project financing renewables projects to optimise returns where sponsors are willing to look beyond the usual offtake and commercial bank medium-term financing options. We think Windlab and John Laing have achieved a great result with this funding.”

Herbert Smith Freehills has the leading renewables legal practice in Australia and the deal is another example of the strong work of the Renewables and Project Finance Team. Projects the teams have recently advised on include:

  • advising Neoen Australia and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation on the project financing for the Parkes, Griffith and Dubbo solar farms in New South Wales;
  • advising AGL Energy Limited on the Silverton Wind Farm in western NSW;
  • advising Fotowatio Renewable Ventures on its new solar farm in Clare, Queensland;
  • advising on the development and debt-financing of the Hornsdale 2 Wind Farm in South Australia; and
  • advising the commercial lenders to the RATCH-Australia sponsored Mt Emerald Wind Farm.