KWM assists financiers to bring Australia’s largest solar farm to financial close

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King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has acted for the financiers to the Western Downs Solar Farm in Queensland which has now successfully reached financial close and commenced construction.  The solar farm was developed by Neoen.

Upon completion, the 460MWDC utility scale solar farm will be the largest solar farm in Australia with the capacity to power 235,000 Queensland homes.  The financiers were Natixis, Société Générale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Nord/LB, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Backed by the Queensland Government, Neoen has reached an agreement to sell 80% of the project's output to state-government owned renewable energy generator, CleanCo.  The agreement will assist the state in achieving its 50% renewable energy target by 2030 and aligns with the government's COVID-19 recovery plan, that focusses on investment in capital projects. 

The KWM team acting on the transaction was led by partner Chris Dynon, who was supported by senior associates Madeleine Coates, Josh Thorneycroft and Kathryn Tomasic, and solicitors Shubho Mukherjee, Louise Yun and Sam Hill.

Commenting on the transaction, Chris said: "We are delighted to have worked with the financiers and other stakeholders in this project to reach this significant milestone. The Western Downs Solar Farm will create jobs and increase renewable energy output in Queensland at a time when investment in projects such as this will have a tremendous impact on our recovering economies."

White & Case represented Neoen on the transaction.

The solar farm in expected to begin generating electricity in the first quarter of 2022.