Aus & NZ: Macquarie Capital acquires 50% stake in renewable projects

30 July 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

RES Group has sold a 50% stake in two of its Victorian renewable energy projects to co-developer Macquarie Capital.

The transaction closed on 18 June and the two investors are continuing with plans to co-develop the Murra Warra Stage Two (203MW) wind farm and adjacent 235MW solar and battery storage facility.

Both projects are located near Horsham, about 300km north of Melbourne.

Bank sources said early stage conversations are being held with lenders to secure the debt financing for the second stage wind project.

The first stage, also co-developed by RES and Macquarie, reached financial close in March with AUD 384.22m (USD 302.27m) of debt from four lenders: ANZ bank, MUFG Bank, SMBC and Westpac bank. 

A source familiar with the matter indicated that due to competitive turbine costs and current debt incentives, the second stage of the wind project would aim to reach financial close by late Q3 or early Q4.

The same source suggested the projects were vying for offtake contracts in the ‘VRET’ renewable energy auction that was launched by Victoria at the end of 2017. The government is currently considering the 15-plus bids it received and is on track to award winners later this year.

It is understood a power purchase agreement (PPA) has not yet been secured for either project. 

The construction of the first stage of the Murra Warra wind farm is on track to conclude in the middle of 2019. As reported in March, Macquarie and RES may seek to sell some or all of the first stage this year. 

In late December 2017, a consortium of companies including Telstra, ANZ bank, Coca-Cola Amatil and the University of Melbourne agreed to a 12-year PPA for the first stage of the wind farm.

Herbert Smith Freehills is advising RES on the stake sales of the three Murra Warra projects.  

Spokespeople for RES were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Macquarie Capital