Baker McKenzie advised the financiers on the project financing of the Bulgana Green Power Hub (BGPH) in Victoria, an integrated wind farm and battery storage facility - Neoen's largest single-stage project in Australia. Located in Stawell, regional Victoria, the BGPH will comprise a 194 MW wind farm with Siemens-Gamesa wind turbines, combined with a 20 MW / 34 MWh lithium-ion battery provided by Tesla.
Baker McKenzie lead partner on the transaction and Head of Banking & Finance in Australia, Sean Rush stated: "We are incredibly proud to support another ground breaking renewable energy project with market leading facets such as battery storage, a corporate PPA, long term financing backed by a long term hedge, the first agribusiness partnership of its kind in the world and long term O&M arrangements."
Paul Curnow, Baker McKenzie's Asia Pacific Head of Renewable Energy, commented "We are pleased to support another Neoen project delivering affordable, secure and clean energy to Australia. We have delivered the majority of the renewable energy projects in the market over the past 10 years and that transaction experience came through on this deal."
The A$350 million project cost will be funded from a combination of equity and long term project financing from KfW IPEX-Bank, Société Générale and Korea Development Bank. The project will provide 100 per cent reliable renewable energy to what will be the largest greenhouse in Australia, to be built by Nectar Farms.
David Cooper, Banking & Finance special counsel on the transaction, noted: "The project involved an innovative financing package with long term debt and hedging, a debt service reserve facility, as well as a long term PPA with the Victorian government under the VRET model and a corporate PPA where BGPH will supply power to Nectar Farms' nearby glasshouse facility."
Sean further commented: "The project financing was completed in 6 weeks from the time of bank appointment, which could only have been done with the expertise and bench strength of the Baker McKenzie team combined with the sophistication of the financiers, the extensive renewables experience of Yuriy Davidov and the Elgar Middleton Infrastructure & Energy Finance team and the market leading expertise of the Neoen team. I'm really proud of our team. This deal represents another in a string of significant project financings we've successfully delivered to financial close."
Sean and Paul were assisted by other members of Baker McKenzie's Renewable Energy Team including: Mike Webb, Dan Middleton, Leanne Olden, Robyn Farrell, Simon Ni, Luis Grech, Miles Hurst, Aylin Cunsolo, Jennifer Hughes, Dora Stilianos, Teresa Ientile, Zoe Hilson and Kate Phillips.
Construction is slated to start in April and the wind farm is expected for delivery in August 2019.