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Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has advised 100% Australian-owned renewable energy company Windlab, on Australia’s largest clean energy deal with global mining group, Rio Tinto. 

The signing of the 25-year renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) was announced today, with Rio Tinto to purchase 80% of electricity from Windlab’s 1.4GW Wind Renewable Energy Hub in Bungaban, Queensland. The project will require up to 204 wind turbines, and is estimated to generate enough clean energy to power 740,000 Queensland homes. 

The HSF team was led by Projects, Energy and Infrastructure (PEI) Partner, Gerard Pike and supported by solicitors, Jeremy Soh, Tia Liu and Alice Dales. 

HSF Partner, Gerard Pike said it was a pleasure to advise Windlab on this landmark deal.  

“This deal is a significant milestone for not only our client, Windlab, but for Australia’s energy transition ambitions, with an expected 4 million tonnes of carbon to be eliminated each year once the Bungaban project is operational,” Mr Pike said. 

“Windlab has played a foundational role in establishing Australia’s wind energy industry, and this latest deal has only bolstered their renewable energy development portfolio and provided a long-term sustainable solution to powering heavy industry in the Queensland region,” he said.  

Windlab’s CEO, John Martin, said the construction of the project is expected to start late next year. 

“Bungaban is our most mature project within our South Queensland Renewable Generation Hub, which consists of wind, solar and battery storage projects. It’s a significant project within our renewable energy portfolio and we’re excited to bring it to life.”

“We would also like to thank Gerard and the team at Herbert Smith Freehills for their outstanding advice to date on this complex project,” he added. 

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ leadership in the Australian energy sector, having recently advised:

  • Mytilineos S.A. on the project financing of the 150 MWp Munna Creek Solar Farm (Munna Creek) located west of Gympie in Queensland, Australia.
  • Victorian State Electricity Commission (SEC) on its $245 million investment in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub project.
  • Edify Energy on its development of the 185 MW / 370 MWh Koorangie Battery Energy Storage System and sale to Sosteneo SGR Spa.
  • Tilt Renewables on its development of the 100 MW / 200 MWh Latrobe Valley Battery Energy Storage System.
  • a consortium of lenders on legal aspects of the development and project financing of the 200 MW / 400 MWh Rangebank Battery Energy Storage System.
  • CIMIC Group company Pacific Partnerships on the project financing of the 102 MWac/130MWdc Glenrowan Solar Farm in northern Victoria. Glenrowan Solar Farm is the first of the six successful projects chosen under the Second Victorian Renewable Energy Target Auction (VRET2) to achieve financial close.
  • Grok Ventures on its acquisition of the Sun Cable project from administration.

Key contacts

Gerard Pike photo

Gerard Pike

Partner, Melbourne

Gerard Pike

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Rose Dougherty

External Communications Manager


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