The $225 million 116MW (AC) Ross River Solar Farm south-west of Townsville is expected to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 65,000 homes.
The solar farm is sited on a disused mango plantation which has recorded high solar irradiance and is close to a grid connection point.
The solar farm will cover more than 200 hectares and comprise feature some 450,000 solar panels which will use horizontal track the sun. Developer ESCO estimates construction to take about 12 months and generate more than 150 construction jobs.
The CEFC's $20 million Ross River investment is the CEFC's first equity stake in a solar farm, sending an important signal to institutional investors about the commercial potential of greenfield clean energy developments.
The 116MW AC (142MW DC) project is being developed by ESCO Pacific and specialist infrastructure manager Palisade Investment Partners. The project has secured a 13-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with EnergyAustralia, which is understood to be the largest single solar PPA in Australia to date.
Developer ESCO has secured an agreement with EnergyAustralia to purchase the energy produced.
The CEFC is investing around $20 million equity in the project that is being developed by ESCO Pacific and specialist infrastructure manager Palisade Investment Partners.
The equity investment is helping fill a financing gap that exists in the later stages of a project's development approval process where traditionally financial investors have not been willing to participate.
By investing at this early stage of the project's development, the CEFC is accelerating construction so that the project helping it be built and can begin generating power to the grid sooner than otherwise possible without our support.