2 July 2013
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is providing $37.5 million in senior debt finance for the construction and operation of the Taralga Wind Farm, 45 km north of Goulburn, NSW.
The CEFC participated in an international consortium that provided approximately $280 million for the project. The other parties are ANZ, with EKF (the official export credit agency of Denmark) and the primary equity sponsor, Santander (a major international retail and commercial bank based in Spain), along with CBD Energy.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said that by providing senior debt finance as part of the international consortium the CEFC is playing a valuable commercial role to catalyse renewable energy investment in Australia.
"The CEFC was delighted to support this transaction. The project will utilise Australian manufactured towers made in Portland from BlueScope steel. The integrated Australian supply of inputs enabling this project- from materials, through to technology, know-how and finance - demonstrates Australia's capability across the whole value chain for the clean energy sector," he said.
The Taralga Wind Farm will have an installed capacity of 106.8 MW of wind power and supply power to approximately 45,000 homes using a combination of Vestas V90-2.0 MW, V100-1.8 MW and V90-3.0 MW turbines. It is estimated to avoid Australian carbon emissions by 250,000 tonnes a year.
CBD Energy CEO and Executive Chairman Gerry McGowan said this was an important international project.
"The joint venture between CBD Energy and Santander combines the considerable experience of Santander, one of the world's leading developers and financiers of renewable energy, and CBD, an entrepreneurial Australian developer of wind and solar assets both in Australia and internationally," he said.
Vestas Australia Managing Director Danny Nielsen said he was pleased that CEFC involvement in the deal had helped the project become a reality.
"Vestas was proud to work with a number of new players on this project to make sure we continue to create clean energy jobs and set Australia on the pathway to achieving the Renewable Energy Target," Mr Nielsen said.
The Taralga Wind Farm has a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Energy Australia to supply the grid.
"This project is Santander's first significant Australian project where they are the developer. Santander is a leading global developer of renewable projects and we are delighted that they have had the confidence to invest in Australia. The CEFC is established to encourage and support the provision of additional capital to this sector," Mr Yates said.
The CEFC's participation in this transaction is important because it has helped facilitate the project's use of Australian engineered and sourced wind towers from Keppel Prince Engineering, based in Portland, Victoria. This delivers a critical platform for further development of local sector manufacturing capability and a basis for longer term supply chain scale in the Australian wind industry. It also helps create valuable business and regional manufacturing employment.
"The Taralga wind farm project's decision to use Australian engineered and built towers is a major boost for the Australian wind engineering sector, helping it to maintain competitiveness and assisting it position for potential for growth in the coming years." said Stephen Garner, General Manager, Keppel Prince Engineering.