Energy Regulation

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Rapid regulatory change

The energy sector is rapidly transforming as Australia transitions to a lower emissions system. More than ever, it is crucial to understand how the evolving regulatory framework affects your business, particularly as regulators take a more active role in their compliance and enforcement activities.

How we can help

Unparalleled knowledge of energy regulation and policy

We have a unique understanding of gas and electricity regulation, having advised governments and energy market bodies on the development of numerous regulatory frameworks, most notably the National Electricity Law and the National Electricity Rules. Our expertise extends to related areas such as energy data, cybersecurity and critical infrastructure regulation.

Combining regulatory and commercial expertise

Our regulatory experience extends across the energy supply chain, from generation, transmission and distribution, to retail operations. We advise a broad range of energy clients, including industry, investors, government, regulators and energy market bodies, on regulatory matters. This broad experience gives us deep knowledge of the regulatory landscape, market practice and emerging compliance risks. We regularly advise our industry clients on how to develop robust frameworks to ensure regulatory compliance.

Regulatory investigations specialists

We are experienced in advising clients on regulatory investigations and litigation, including those involving the Australian Energy Regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Essential Services Commission and fair trading bodies. Our deep regulatory insights enable us to cut through to the key issues early, especially in complex investigations, and guide you towards the best possible regulatory outcomes.

Our overall energy experience

Australia's largest privately funded and owned utility scale battery

Advising Macquarie's Green Investment Group and ENGIE on the procurement of the Hazelwood battery. Our work included negotiating and drafting the transaction documents, navigating the connection process, setting up the equity structure and advising on financing options. The transaction involved complex negotiations and bespoke advice, owing to the innovative nature and structuring of the deal. The Hazelwood battery is Australia's largest privately funded and owned utility scale battery. It was a first-to-market project and will assist ENGIE in transitioning the decommissioned Hazelwood Power Station into a long-term sustainable energy asset.

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 $777 million financing of Genex Power Ltd’s 250 MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Queensland, the first in the world to use abandoned gold mine pits.

AusNet takeover

Advising ASX-listed Australian energy company AusNet in relation to the proposed $10.2 billion cash acquisition by a Brookfield-led consortium of 100% of AusNet shares via a scheme of arrangement. AusNet owns and operates the primary Victorian electricity transmission network, an electricity distribution network and a gas distribution network.

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 such facility.

Market-first offshore wind project

Advising Corio Generation on feasibility studies and development of the Great Southern Offshore Wind Farm, a proposed 1,000 MW project to be located off the Bass Coast Shire in Gippsland, Victoria. Corio Generation has been awarded $16.1 million in contributory funding from the Victorian Government's Energy Innovation Fund, to conduct preliminary assessments in support of the wind farm.

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 to navigate and prepare for significant policy reform and increased regulator scrutiny in the energy sector.

Renewable portfolio acquisition

Allens has advised global investment manager Igneo Infrastructure Partners (Igneo) on the acquisition of Elliott Green Power Australia (EGP) through Igneo's Australian renewables business, Atmos Renewables. Under the deal, Atmos Renewables has acquired EGP's portfolio of the Childers, Susan River and Nevertire solar farms with a combined capacity of 302 MW, generating approximately 500 GWh of energy annually, enough to power over 100,000 homes. Each solar farm includes well-advanced co-located battery developments totalling 125 MW / 250 MWhs.

Advancing corporate PPAs

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

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.

1GW MacIntyre Wind Farm development

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

Edenvale Solar Project

Advising Sojitz Corporation and ENEOS Australia on the acquisition and development of a proposed 204 MW solar farm located in the Western Downs Region in Queensland. We are advising on all aspects of the complex transaction structure, including the corporate structure and shareholder arrangements, acquisition due diligence, preparation of share sale arrangements, financing and project documents (including a power purchase agreement, connection arrangements, EPC contract, O&M agreement and development services agreement), environmental planning, land tenure and other development matters for the Edenvale Solar Farm.