Energy

A once-in-a-generation change

The energy industry is undergoing a once-in-a-generation change, transforming for the better. This has been prompted by supply and reliability concerns, a growing focus on renewable energy, advances in technology and changing customer expectations.

Underpinning much of this change are energy networks – particularly the transmission system which transports electricity from sources of generation to points of consumption. As we move away from coal-fired generators and we see the increasing effects of climate change, energy networks will be fundamental in the transition to a cleaner energy future. This transition will support a sustainable, affordable and secure power system that can provide long-term solutions to energy-related challenges.

How we can help

We can help you navigate the policy, technological, regulatory and commercial drivers that underpin the energy transition and the energy sector more generally, as well as the risks and opportunities that arise. We advise on the full spectrum of legal issues, including:

  • all types of energy projects - solar, wind, pumped hydro, waste to energy, behind the meter and battery storage;
  • regulatory reform and compliance;
  • new energy technologies, including hydrogen;
  • electricity and gas contracting, both wholesale and retail; and
  • electricity distribution and transmission connection agreements.

To find out more on our capabilities and how we can help across the full spectrum of energy, visit energy in focus

Leading the way in renewables

Having advised on many renewables projects in every Australian jurisdiction, we can guide you through the complex and broad-ranging legal issues associated with the development, acquisition, sale and financing of renewable energy assets. We are at the forefront of cutting-edge deals, including corporate and other PPAs, and the development and integration of utility-scale storage and behind the meter assets.

The right team with the right experience

Our team includes specialists in electricity and gas industry regulation, competition policy, environmental regulation, project finance, IP strategy for new technologies, corporate restructuring, privatisation and corporatisation. They provide unrivalled value through their intimate understanding of the local regulatory environment, current market trends and their network of contacts across the industry.

Setting the agenda for the future of the sector

We regularly advise both the public and private sector on a range of significant regulatory matters. Our work includes supporting the market bodies in relation to the drafting and implementation of fundamental policy reform, which means we are across latest developments and can offer unique insights into current policy thinking and direction (both in relation to specific regulatory agendas, such as transmission access reform and the Integrated System Plan, as well as updates to the national electricity and gas rules more generally).

Experience

Landmark pumped hydro projects

Advised on the work associated with the 2,000 MW Snowy Hydro 2.0 expansion scheme, including on all aspects of the funding, construction, environmental planning, regulatory and real estate aspects of the project. Also advising Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility on the financing of Genex Power Ltd’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, the first in the world to use abandoned gold mine pits.

Ground breaking waste-to-energy projects

Advised the lenders on the financing of the Kwinana waste-to-energy project, the first utility-scale waste to energy project in Australia. As well as the development and financing of the East Rockingham waste-to-energy facility, Australia’s second waste-to-energy facility.

National Electricity Market (NEM) participants

Advised various NEM participants on regulatory requirements across the full supply chain, including generation, transmission and retail regulation.  As well as assisting clients navigate and prepare for significant policy reform and increased regulator scrutiny in the energy sector.

Advancing corporate PPAs

Advised on a variety of complex and innovative PPA structures, for clients including Newcrest, WestConnex, Coles, CBA, Sydney Airport, Orora Limited, Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Intelligent Water Networks, Beryl Solar Farm and Transport for NSW.

1GW MacIntyre Wind Farm development

Advised ACCIONA Energy on the 1026MW Macintyre Wind Farm Precinct in Queensland, which will be one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world. The precinct consists of the 923MW Macintyre Wind Farm, which is owned by ACCIONA Energy in joint venture with Ark Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc Company, and the 100MW Karara Wind Farm owned by CleanCo Queensland and developed by ACCIONA Energy.

TransGrid on sustainable energy interconnector

Advised TransGrid on the procurement and construction of Project EnergyConnect, a proposed 860-kilometre electricity interconnector for which TransGrid has contracted with SecureEnergy, a joint venture between Clough and Elecnor.

Solar-gas project to power Pilbara mines

Advised Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility on the provision of a loan of up to $90 million to Alinta Energy Pty Ltd, to fund the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project.

First Australian renewables acquisition for Iberdrola

Advised global energy giant Iberdrola on its acquisition of the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park Stage 1 hybrid wind and solar project, its first venture in Australia.

Battery projects providing reliability to the NEM

Advising  on a range of battery projects including TransGrid’s Wallgrove Grid Battery in western Sydney and a confidential bidder in relation to its bid to construct and operate the Victorian Big Battery in response to the Victorian Government System Integrity Protection Scheme 2020. Also advising on innovative battery tolling agreements, which offer an alternative source of guaranteed long-term revenue for generators.

Acquisition, development and divestment of 530MW Stockyard Hill Wind Farm

Advised Goldwind on the acquisition, development and financing of the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, one of the largest operational wind farms in the southern hemisphere. Also advised on the subsequent divestment of a 48% stake to Qatar-based global power and development investment company, Nebras Power.

Wind farm portfolio sale

Advised John Laing on the $285 million sale of its Australian wind farm portfolio to First Sentier Investors, consisting of six different assets across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

Establishment of the Powering Australian Renewables Fund

Advised AGL Energy on the establishment of its $2-3 billion Powering Australian Renewables Fund to develop, own and manage approximately 1,000MW of large-scale renewable energy infrastructure assets and projects.