Baker McKenzie has assisted Zenobē and Transgrid (in a joint venture arrangement) to successfully complete Australia's first structured financing electric bus project with Transit Systems (as Bus Operator) and Transport for NSW.
The joint venture between Transgrid and Zenobē will deliver 40 electric buses and their batteries and install the infrastructure to power the electric buses – the largest single fleet of electric buses in Australia.
Baker McKenzie's lead partner Aylin Cunsolo stated: "The project involves the financing, procurement, installation, commissioning and servicing of 40 electric buses and their batteries along with on-site PV solar and storage systems further delivering upon the NSW Government's energy transition plans. This a landmark project, which will provide blueprint for future roll-out of electric buses across Australia, an important step in the transition to net zero."
Zenobē Co-Founder and Director Steven Meersman said he was proud to work with key partners to drive the industry forward.
“So much of what we are doing, has never been done before – it is an incredibly exciting time, made possible with strategic partnerships that understand the growth, opportunities and potential of a truly clean energy transport system.
“Our partnership with Baker McKenzie is helping us to deliver the transport of the future, today, while supporting the countries emission targets,” he said.
Transgrid Acting CEO Brian Salter also welcomed the support of partners in delivering the project.
“Our energy system is evolving rapidly and electrification of transport is an essential feature of the modern energy system and this initiative is a welcome addition to the grid-scale batteries and multipurpose energy hubs we are developing throughout Australia. We are delighted to see this project going forward,” he said.
Transgrid and Zenobē have welcomed the strong support from the Federal Government for the project which has received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has also committed to provide debt funding. The project will share knowledge and performance data through ARENA’s knowledge sharing program, which will support the roll-out of electric buses across Australia.
Howard Fraser, Baker McKenzie's finance partner, commented: "It has been our privilege to assist Transgrid and Zenobē with this innovative and important transaction which delivers Australia's first "end to end solution" for an electric powered bus fleet."
Aylin was assisted by a Baker McKenzie team comprising: Howard Fraser, Declan O'Donahue, Aimi Tran, Jess Knox, Anne Petterd, Sean Selleck, Niall Donnelly, Josh Baldacchino, Alex Hartman, Jennifer Fitzalan, Ilona Millar, Sean Paulding, Miles Hurst and Eric Thianpiriya.