25 August 2016
Clifford Chance advises on Australia's first utility scale integrated solar and battery project
Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised on the financing of Australia's first integrated solar and storage project of scale. Located in Far North Queensland, the Conergy-sponsored project comprises a 13MWp/10.8MWac solar PV array with an integrated grid connected 1.4MW/5.4MWh lithium-ion battery.
Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, the sole debt financier to the project and Clifford Chance's client on the transaction, has provided a 15-year non-recourse financing facility.
The project has also received a AUD17.4 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and benefits from a power purchase agreement with Origin Energy.
Lead partner on the transaction Philip Sealey says, "There's a huge amount of interest in batteries in the industry at the moment. It is fantastic to see Nord/LB support this project with long-dated debt and to see ARENA's continued support for energy storage projects of various scales.
"It is a testament to the wider industry interest in the integration of energy storage and renewables that the knowledge sharing steering committee formed by Conergy and ARENA for this project has been joined by BHP Billiton, Ergon Energy and Origin Energy.
"The potential applications of these integrated technologies are far reaching, including enhancing energy reliability at the fringes of the grid as well as off-grid generation and storage, which is of particular importance for Australia's resources industry. We wish the project participants every success for the construction and operation of this facility."
The project is scheduled for completion in April 2017.
The Clifford Chance team was led by partner Philip Sealey who was supported by counsel Chad Bochan (finance documents workstream), Nadia Kalic (construction and project documents workstream) and Robyn Glindemann (land and approvals workstream).