Three more large-scale solar projects

Clean Energy Finance Corporation

By Sustainability Matters Staff
Tuesday, 14 March, 2017

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced the latest wave of transactions under its large-scale solar financing program, investing $77 million in three new projects in Queensland and Victoria.

With this investment, the CEFC has now exceeded the initial $250 million target for its large-scale solar program, with combined commitments of $281 million in seven projects to date. Other projects are nearing finalisation.

The projects are being developed by Edify Energy, alongside international renewable energy investor Wirsol. They include:

  • The 57.5 MW (AC) Whitsunday Solar Farm, north of Collinsville, which has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Queensland Government. The project is expected to generate around 144,000 MWh of energy annually, enough to power an estimated 31,000 homes. This project is also receiving up to $9.5 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of its large-scale solar funding round.
  • The 57.5 MW (AC) Hamilton Solar Farm, also north of Collinsville and expected to generate 144,000 MWh of energy annually. Energy will be sold into the grid on a predominantly uncontracted or merchant basis.
  • The 50 MW (AC) Gannawarra Solar Farm, west of Kerang in Victoria, which has a 13-year PPA with EnergyAustralia. It is expected to generate about 116,000 MWh of energy annually, enough to power an estimated 25,000 homes. This is the CEFC’s first commitment to a Victorian solar farm.

The CEFC, Commonwealth Bank and Germany’s NORD/LB have committed to a syndicated senior debt facility to support the three projects. Edify Energy and Wirsol are providing equity. The transaction is Australia’s largest single solar project financing deal to date.

The three solar projects will lead to 300 jobs during construction and will add a combined 165 MW (AC) of renewable energy to the national electricity grid, enough to power an estimated 87,000 homes. They are all expected to be operational by the start of 2018.

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