Pinsent Masons wins Sustainability Award at FT Innovative Lawyer Awards APAC 2021

17 May 2021 | 10:17 am | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has won the Sustainability Award at the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards Asia Pacific 2021 for its role advising Tesla on Australia's first ever centrally-owned virtual power plant (VPP).

Melbourne-based energy and infrastructure finance partner, Jeremy King, led a team advising Tesla on the delivery of the South Australia VPP providing cheaper, cleaner power to residents of social housing properties.

The team advised on all aspects of the SA VPP including finance, regulatory and insurance matters to facilitate access to discounted power arrangements for thousands of vulnerable families in low socio-economic neighbourhoods.

Commenting on the win, Jeremy King, said: "This was a highly complex, innovative and transformational project that has played a vital role in improving access to affordable, renewable energy across Southern Australia.

"As the first ever VPP of its kind in Australia there was no blueprint or precedents for us to follow. We're proud to have supported Tesla on the rollout on such an important project that will have a genuine impact on sustainable energy in the region."

The project incorporated bespoke contracts relating to distributed rooftop solar and battery systems which were orchestrated as a fleet operating like a grid scale power plant. SA VPP uses internet connectivity and proprietary cloud-based software to charge or discharge energy batteries, trading it on the National Energy Market.

Pinsent Masons worked closely with financial advisor, Planum Partners, to deliver the funding solution for the SA VPP.  The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Australia's 'green bank', continued to invest in Australia’s transition to lower emissions by deploying senior debt to the project.

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