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Case study

CEFC equity unlocks Ross River Solar Farm greenfield development

Former mango farm becomes clean energy producer

The $20 million investment in Ross River Solar Farm, announced in 2017, was the first time the CEFC had taken an equity stake in a solar farm, to help accelerate the project’s development.


CEFC investment

Solar 1st

for CEFC equity 


homes powered

By investing equity in the early stage of such projects, we are looking to unlock much needed capital to support an accelerated growth path. This means renewable energy projects can be built more quickly, and begin generating power to the grid sooner.
Rory Lonergan
CIO Infrastructure and Alternatives, CEFC

Our investment

The CEFC confirmed its first equity stake in a solar farm in 2017 when it announced a $20 million investment in the Ross River Solar Farm.

Ross River Solar Farm was developed by ESCO Pacific and specialist infrastructure manager Palisade Investment Partners. Palisade acquired 100 per cent of the solar farm in February 2018.

Palisade named Ross River Solar Farm as one of five seed assets in its investment platform Intera Renewables in 2023.  The CEFC equity investment in the solar farm was subsequently transferred as a direct equity stake in Intera Renewables.


our impact

Demonstrating greenfield potential

The CEFC investment in Ross River Solar Farm sent an important signal to institutional investors about the commercial potential of greenfield clean energy developments.

By investing equity in the early stages of projects, the CEFC was looking to unlock much needed capital to support an accelerated growth path for solar, so that projects could be built more quickly and begin generating to the grid sooner.

It was also a way the CEFC could help create investment opportunities for Australian institutional investors, such as superannuation funds, seeking sustainable investments.

Powering major retailer’s clean energy ambitions

Ross River Solar Farm secured a 13-year power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia in 2017, which was understood to be the largest single solar PPA in Australia at that time.  

The power purchase agreement was part of an EnergyAustralia program to buy some 500 MW of power from new wind and solar projects across eastern Australia to help broaden its energy mix and provide leadership on the most cost-effective means of reducing emissions and addressing climate change.1

From mangoes to solar, making the most of location

The $245.5 million Ross River Solar Farm, built on the site of a disused mango farm south-west of Townsville, has a 116 MW(AC) 148 MW (DC) capacity and generates enough energy to power more than 54,000 homes.

The solar farm covers more than 200 hectares with more than 400,000 solar panels using single axis tracking systems that allow them to rotate and capture the maximum amount of sunlight each day.

The site for the project is close to a grid connection point and was selected because of high solar irradiance levels and the region’s annual average of 320 days of sunshine.

Ross River Solar Farm is expected to operate for up to 40 years.

1. EnergyAustralia to underpin major Queensland solar farm

Last updated June 2024. Queensland, Solar, Renewable energy
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