1 July 2015
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Origin have joined forces to further the deployment of solar energy in Australia, via a 12-year $100 million CEFC financing commitment.
The CEFC finance will help support Origin's offering of power purchase agreements (PPAs) to business and residential customers, helping more consumers access solar energy.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the CEFC's finance would support the expansion of Origin's Solar as a Service offering, which involves Origin owning, installing and maintaining solar PV systems on household and business customers' roofs.
"PPAs are an innovative way of driving further uptake of solar, by effectively allowing solar customers to purchase the energy generated from their panels, rather than having to purchase the panels themselves," Mr Yates said.
"They offer a clear benefit for residential and business consumers, who can have increased confidence about their long-term electricity costs, while at the same time enjoying the benefits of solar."
The CEFC has already invested in a number of innovative renewables projects and energy efficiency programs. By value, the CEFC's portfolio of committed and close to conclusion transactions compromises approximately 33 per cent solar, 30 per cent energy efficiency, 21 per cent wind and 16 per cent other technologies.
Mr Yates said the CEFC's commitment to this financing reflected the CEFC's complementary role in investing alongside the private sector to support new financing structures that catalyse investment in renewable energy technologies.
"Working with the CEFC provides Origin with access to long-dated finance, which is beneficial for a solar program of this scale," Mr Yates said. "This will assist Origin in expanding its roll out of solar and battery storage offerings to residential and commercial customers.
"The CEFC is considering more than $500 million in finance for solar projects, totalling more than $1 billion in value. We are working with project proponents, major utilities and retailers to expand the range of solar finance options, to deepen solar penetration, diversify the technology deployment and lower costs. We hope to be in a position to announce further solar projects in the near future," Mr Yates added.
Origin General Manager Solar and Emerging Businesses, Phil Mackey said, "Origin is already one of Australia's longest-standing and largest solar retailers and we aspire to be number one, driving long-term growth in the solar market.
"Solar as a Service is already proving an attractive proposition to customers since it was launched earlier this year, and the CEFC finance will be used in expanding the offering, so more Australians can enjoy the benefits of solar," Mr Mackey said.
The finance for Origin's PPA program builds on the CEFC's existing working relationship with Origin. Previously Origin and the CEFC provided on-bill finance for businesses to upgrade to energy efficient technologies and pay back loans through their energy bills.
Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) is the leading Australian integrated energy company focused on gas and oil exploration and production, power generation and energy retailing. A member of the S&P/ASX 20 Index, the Company has approximately 6,900 employees and is a leading producer of gas in eastern Australia. Origin is Australia's largest energy retailer servicing 4.3 million electricity, natural gas and LPG customer accounts and has one of the country's largest and most flexible generation portfolios with approximately 6,010 MW of capacity, through either owned generation or contracted rights. Origin's strategic positioning and portfolio of assets provide flexibility, stability and significant opportunities for growth across the energy industry. Through Australia Pacific LNG, its incorporated joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec, Origin is developing one of Australia's largest CSG to LNG projects based on Australia's largest 2P CSG reserves base.
Origin has a strong focus on ensuring the sustainability of its operations, is the largest green energy retailer in Australia and has significant investments in renewable energy technologies.
(NOTE: The CEFC's finance to Origin was repaid in August 2017).