CEFC Clocks Up 1GW+ Of Large-Scale Solar Investments

Solar Power - Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Image: CEFC

Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation is finishing the year on a strong note, committing $207 million in debt finance to accelerate the development of two large-scale solar farms.

The two projects are the Wemen Solar Farm in Victoria and the Clermont Solar Farm in Queensland. The developer of both facilities is Wirsol Energy Ltd.

“The CEFC’s role as sole debt financier would enable WIRSOL to begin construction on the two projects as early as January 2018, before having secured a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the solar output,” said CEFC Transaction Lead, Niall Brady.

The announcement marks a significant milestone in the Corporation’s history – supporting the delivery of more than 1GW capacity across 20 Australian large-scale solar projects. The CEFC says collectively, these solar power stations will generate electricity equivalent to that consumed by approximately 375,000 average households, while avoiding 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

State Projects CEFC Commitment
(rounded)
MW AC
Capacity
QLD 12 $440 million 695
NSW 4 $196 million 166
VIC 3 $247 million 248
WA 1 $15 million 10
TOTAL 20 $898 million 1,119

Among its other recent investments is debt finance for stage one of the Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia’s Port Augusta region, which includes a 10MW/10MWh energy storage system. This is the first grid-connected large-scale battery project component in Australia to secure finance on a non-subsidised basis.

The Corporation also assisted with financing a 1.77-megawatt solar power installation at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, and the Kennedy Energy Park;  which will be the first large scale solar PV, wind and battery hybrid project to be connected to the grid in this country

“Our investment in large-scale solar continues to play a major role in accelerating Australia’s clean energy transition, with CEFC finance helping to demonstrate the commercial potential of these investments in the ongoing development of Australia’s critical energy infrastructure,” said CEFC Large-Scale Solar Lead, Monique Miller.

For the CEFC to have reached this point is somewhat of a miracle – the Corporation was firmly in the sights of Tony Abbott during his time as Prime Minister (and before). Mr. Abbott had vowed to axe the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and also the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The CEFC was established under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 (CEFC Act), which defines how the Corporation invests and operates. Through leading by example, it encourages and actively seeks to facilitate others investing in the clean energy sector. It is governed by an independent board that reports to Parliament.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Richard Kirby says

    Fantastic. I hope that all universities and other large government agencies are looking at what UQ and CSU have done with solar with the CEFC’s help!

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