Case studies

Two solar farms for Qld, one for Vic adding combined 165MW capacity

Australia's Edify Energy and leading international renewable energy investor Wirsol are constructing three large scale solar farms that will add a combined 165MW of capacity to the national electricity grid.

The solar farms are:

  • The 57.5MW (AC) Whitsunday Solar Farm, also north of Collinsville, which has a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Queensland Government. It is expected to generate around 144,000MWh of energy annually, enough to power an estimated 31,000 homes.
  • The 57.5MW (AC) Hamilton Solar Farm, north of Collinsville in Queensland, which is expected to generate around 144,000MWh of energy annually, enough to power an estimated 31,000 homes. Energy will be sold into the grid on an uncontracted or merchant basis.
  • The 50MW (AC) Gannawarra Solar Farm, west of Kerang in Victoria, which has a 13-year PPA with EnergyAustralia. It is expected to generate about 116,000MWh of energy annually, enough to power an estimated 25,000 homes

The CEFC has committed a total of $77 million to the three projects and its loan is part of a $230 million syndicated senior debt facility that also involves Commonwealth Bank and Germany's NORD/LB. The Whitsunday project  also receives 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 Commonwealth Bank's involvement marks a significant turning point for large-scale solar financing in Australia. The Commonwealth Bank worked alongside the CEFC to compete the financing over a longer tenor, which is notable given the merchant price risk component of the project.

The two Queensland-based projects reflect the CEFC's focus on delivering clean energy solutions in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area, as part of the CEFC's Reef Funding Program.