The Land: New deal gives Elders’ clients access to expert help with RELA
The increased focus on farm land for big renewable energy projects has led to a new corporate partnership to help farmers capitalise on this new demand. Major Australian agribusiness Elders Ltd has formed an alliance with Sydney-headquartered RELA, a fast-growing specialist in dealing with developers of these energy projects.
RELA has been working over the past three years to connect landowners with institutional capital and these developers. Elders wants to use RELA’S expertise for their own clients in navigating the often tricky headwinds of hosting projects like wind and solar farms, and the more controversial transmission lines.
Elders said RELA had been helping landowners successfully unlock the value of their land through large scale renewable energy projects. RELA says energy companies are getting better at negotiating with farmers for the large areas of land which has often put farmers in the driving seat.
Farm lobby groups say farmers deserve to be fairly compensated for providing the land to move Australia from coal to renewables.
Superannuation funds have already partnered with RELA to bankroll a scheme where the lease money paid over many years to host a project like wind or solar farms is bundled up into one upfront payment. It is often worth many millions of dollars to landowners without the need to sell their farms.
RELA’s model gives landowners the opportunity to receive lease payments upfront in one lump sum rather than over a long lease period. It has teamed up with several super funds to provide the upfront payments and negotiate the lease arrangements with developers.
Elders NSW real estate manager Richard Gemmell said RELA has developed expertise and networks to help regional landowners confidently achieve their objectives through renewable energy opportunities.
“At Elders, we have always put landowners’ interests as our top priority, and the collaboration with RELA allows us to help our clients in new and important ways,” he said.
Mr Gemmel said RELA has successfully transacted with some of the country’s largest corporate farmers and agri businesses, as well as many smaller family run farming operations, bringing value and benefit to all landowners.
“Particularly at a time when many landowners are seeking access to capital, RELA’s model of allowing landowners to obtain a large upfront payment by bringing forward their renewable energy lease payments, is a game changer. Combined with our regional network we are working together to create better outcomes for all of our landowners.”
RELA director Eran Rimmer said the strategic alliance was a no-brainer for RELA, “Elders is a company known for prioritising the best interest of landowners, and this approach directly aligns with RELA’s core values,” he said. “Our lease prepayment provides landowners with the capital required to remove risk, and secure and build a future on their own terms, at a time of economic uncertainty.”
Elders Rural Real Estate’s Mike Clifton said he already sees immediate benefit and opportunities for clients. “Many of our clients have renewable energy opportunities on their land,” he said. “Through our alliance with RELA we are able to provide these landowners with the expertise and support they need to succeed in these opportunities.”
RELA director Michael Katz said RELA had developed the expertise to help landowners throughout their entire renewable energy journey.
“From representing landowners in achieving fair and equitable renewable energy leases with reputable developers, to offering a lease prepayment, we are changing the game in how landowners can benefit from the renewable energy transition.”
READ the full article here: https://www.theland.com.au/story/8275407/elders-new-power-play-for-clients-to-capitalise-on-energy-projects/