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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation on the project financing of Darlington Point Solar Farm, to be located approximately 10km south of Darlington Point in western New South Wales.

At financial close on 21 December 2018 funds managed by Octopus Investments acquired a majority stake in the project, their first in the Australian renewables market. Edify Energy has been developing the 275 MW(AC) solar farm, which will be Australia’s largest solar PV farm upon completion.

The solar farm is supported by a 150 MW(AC) power purchase agreement with Delta Electricity for the supply of energy and large-scale generation certificates from the solar farm.

Construction will commence shortly, with commercial operations scheduled for early 2020.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partners Elizabeth Charlesworth, Alison Dodd and Peter Davis, who were supported by executive counsel Amelia Fleming, solicitors Yun Yong, Simon Disney, Arnica Mullins, Michael Trent and graduate Nicholas Gerovasilis.

Ms Charlesworth said, “Edify Energy continues to demonstrate its commitment to the renewable energy sector by developing large-scale solar farms to deliver renewable power to Australia.”

“This project demonstrates the strength of the renewables sector in Australia,” she said.

“We are delighted to have worked with dynamic teams at CBA and Westpac to support Edify Energy and Octopus Investments achieve a timely financial close prior to the end of 2018 on what will be Australia’s largest PV solar farm.”

Canadian Solar and Signal Energy have been engaged as construction contractor and operator for the solar project. Other advisors included Ashurst (advising Edify Energy), Allens (advising Octopus Investments) and Elgar Middleton (debt financial advisor).

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in the renewable energy sector. The Renewable Energy Project and Project Finance Teams have recently advised:

•              Synergy on the development and financing of the 180MW Warradarge Wind Farm;

•              Infigen on the development of its 57MW Cherry Tree Wind Farm;

•              Tilt Renewables on the development of the 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm in Victoria;

•              Total Eren in respect of the development of the 256MW Stage 1 of the Kiamal Solar Farm in Victoria.

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