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12 October 20233 minute read

DLA Piper advises Nord/LB, LBBW and Rabobank on Highfield Solar’s two long-term corporate PPAs with Meta, an estimated EUR180 million investment

DLA Piper has advised Nord/LB, LBBW and Rabobank (the Lenders) on financing arrangements relating to two-long term corporate power purchase agreements entered into between Irish renewables developer Highfield Solar and Meta, with an estimated investment of EUR180 million in two newly operational solar farms in Meath and Wexford, Ireland.

The transaction represents one of the largest corporate offtakes for solar energy in Ireland to date, with a combined capacity of both solar farms of 276 MWp. The power from the fully operational solar farms will be used to support Meta's operations in Ireland, including its data centre in Clonee, Co Meath.

The agreement between Highfield Solar and Meta is an important step towards the targets set by the Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to source 15% of electricity consumption from renewables under corporate PPAs by 2030.

Natasha Luther-Jones, International Head of Sustainability and ESG, and Global Co-Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources team at DLA Piper, comments: “We are proud to have advised the Lenders on this landmark transaction, all of whom are longstanding clients of the firm. It’s great to see that the DLA Piper team continues to advise on impactful energy transactions in Ireland, helping to achieve the country’s net zero targets.”

Seán McGrenaghan, Legal Director in Dublin, who led on the financing arrangements added that “This transaction is one of the most innovative solar deals completed in Ireland to date. What was most striking about this transaction was the determination and good humour shown by everyone in navigating the complexity of such an innovative transaction. Congratulations to the Highfield and Meta teams, the Lenders and all your advisers on a hugely significant achievement.”

William Marshall, Legal Director in Dublin, who advised the Lenders on the corporate PPAs stated that “This transaction represents a significant step in solidifying the place of corporate PPAs as an essential component of Ireland’s renewable energy mix and we are extremely proud to have advised on this landmark transaction.”

Conor Houlihan, Head of Finance in Ireland added that “The DLA Piper team on this transaction advised in four jurisdictions, with our full-service energy team in Dublin playing a central role. This transaction highlights the bench strength of our Dublin and international teams and is evidence of our ability to deliver for clients on the largest and most complex energy financings in the market.”

The team advising the Lenders was led by Natasha Luther-Jones, Legal Directors Seán McGrenaghan and William Marshall and supported by Kieran Finn, Christina Houston, Wolfram Distler, Kais Torchani, Jacques Camilleri, Emma Whitfield, Katie Ryan, Rebecca Clabby and John McGrath.