A word from the industry
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) works across the clean energy sector to catalyse private sector investment and innovation in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.
In 2016, the CEFC launched a $250 million large-scale solar program to accelerate new project development and the swift generation of renewable source electricity to contribute to the grid.
The first of these projects to reach financial close involved the CEFC committing $150 million in debt finance to support the construction of 110 megawatt of new solar generation capacity at projects in Dubbo, Parkes and Griffith. This will increase large-scale solar capacity in New South Wales by more than 50 per cent.
When fully deployed, the CEFC large-scale solar program will represent the biggest lending commitment to the large-scale solar sector in Australia to date, with the program expected to deliver a significant reduction in the cost of solar energy to the point where large-scale solar is competitive with other forms of electricity generation.
In addition, the CEFC has developed innovative equity solutions to support large-scale renewable energy projects at the early stage of their development. In recent investments, the CEFC has taken its first direct equity stake in a large-scale solar project, through a $20 million investment in Australia's largest solar farm, at Ross River near Townsville. It has also made a $75 million cornerstone commitment to a specialist renewable energy fund, designed to attract mid-tier and large-scale institutional investors into project development.
The CEFC is also working to demonstrate the bankability of large-scale renewable energy projects, which have not achieved 100 per cent energy offtake agreements. This has included a debt finance commitment of up to $120 million, as one of the co-financiers in the development of the 270 megawatt Sapphire Wind Farm between Glen Innes and Inverell in northern New South Wales.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation provided this content.
Photo: Nyngan Solar Farm, supplied by AGL Energy.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.