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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised APA Group on the acquisition of the Darling Downs solar farm development project, a 110-megawatt photovoltaic solar farm near Dalby in Queensland’s Darling Downs. 

APA Group successfully acquired the Darling Downs project from Origin Energy, and reached financial close on Monday 1 May. The acquisition follows a competitive bid process.

The project includes A$20 million of grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is supported by an long term offtake agreement with Origin Energy in respect of the solar farm’s entire output. The acquisition also includes an option to acquire a further potential solar development site located nearby.

Herbert Smith Freehills advised on the acquisition, off take, procurement and ARENA funding arrangements for the project.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partners Peter Davis on the acquisition and off-take, Toby Anderson on procurement and John Angus on ARENA funding, assisted by senior associates Brodie Same and Daniel Ficyk, and solicitors Peter Ip and Lan Wei.

Peter Davis said: “The APA team has worked incredibly hard from the competitive bid phase through to completion on this landmark solar farm project. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work closely with the APA team to achieve this great result.”

Toby Anderson, Head of the Asia Pacific renewables team, said, “2017 has seen a significant amount of attention and investment in the renewables sector so far, with several more projects in the pipeline. We are excited to continue our work in the rapidly-growing Australian renewables sector over the rest of 2017. Congratulations to the APA team on their fantastic achievement on the Darling Downs solar farm project.”

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading full service renewables team, which has recently advised on a number of other significant transactions in the Australian renewable energy industry, including advising:

  • First Solar on the project financing of Manildra Solar Farm;
  • Fotowatio Renewable Ventures on its new 100MW solar farm at Clare in Queensland;
  • Infigen Energy on the development of the Bodangora Wind Farm in NSW; and
  • AGL Energy Limited on the development of the 200MW Silverton Wind Farm in western NSW.