Allens advises on Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone project financing

Energy Project Finance Renewable Energy Transmission and grid

Allens has advised the financiers to the ACEREZ consortium (comprised of ACCIONA, COBRA and Endeavour Energy and advised by Capella Capital) on its entry into a commitment deed with the NSW Government for the transmission infrastructure for Australia's first renewable energy zone, the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in NSW.

The first-of-its-kind transaction sees the ACEREZ consortium become the preferred network operator to seek approval to construct and operate the Central-West Orana REZ, which will enable generators such as solar and wind farms and energy storage providers in the Central-West Orana REZ to connect to the electricity grid at a scale never seen before.

'The Australian energy landscape is undergoing a rapid, once-in-a-generation transformation, driven by the closure of ageing coal-fired power stations and the transition to clean and sustainable energy,' said lead Partner Nicholas Adkins.

'Australia's successful energy transition depends on new renewable energy generators being able to secure connection to electricity networks on a timely, affordable and reliable basis. The development of renewable energy zones such as the Central-West Orana REZ will therefore play a critical role in facilitating the deployment of renewable energy projects and achieving ambitious renewable energy targets.

'This innovative transaction structure, which combines features of both a public-private-partnership transaction and a regulated asset model, is truly a pathfinder project. It provides access to private capital to fund these critical projects and is likely to set a precedent for future REZs to be developed across Australia in coming years.'

'We are thrilled to have been involved in the project to date through our role advising the financing syndicate and we congratulate EnergyCo, the ACEREZ consortium and the project financiers on reaching this important milestone for the project. It has been an enormous amount of effort for everyone involved to get this point, and we look forward to continuing to work with all the parties in the final stages of bringing this important project to life.'

Allens legal team

Banking & Finance

Nicholas Adkins (Partner), Chathurika Ravindra (Senior Associate), Angela Lambros (Associate), Campbell Halliday (Lawyer)