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 on regulatory matters, including industry, investors, government, regulators and energy market bodies. 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 compliance frameworks to ensure regulatory compliance.

Regulatory investigations specialists

We are experienced in advising clients in regulatory investigations and litigation, including those involving the Australian Energy Regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), 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.

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.