2 August 2013
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has reached agreement to provide $60 million of senior debt finance to Moree Solar Farm for the development and construction of a 56MW solar photovoltaic power plant.
The Moree Solar Farm is a large scale single-axis tracking PV solar energy project located 10km south of Moree in northern New South Wales. The site covers approximately 350 hectares and the project secured approval by the NSW Government in July 2011. The Moree Solar Farm will provide enough solar power for approximately 15,000 homes and abate over 95,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
The Moree Solar Farm is sponsored by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said that CEFC participation in this transaction will provide a precedent in the Australian market for financing large scale solar PV on a merchant basis. Solar energy is more predictable than wind energy and tracking will allow the facility to capture a higher volume of peak priced electricity.
Mr Yates said, "Moree Solar Farm will utilise high efficiency polycrystalline panels. The CEFC financing can bridge the required debt funding in the immediate term to enable the sponsors to proceed to construction and provide flexibility to secure a PPA in the future."
"This utility scale project should help drive down future construction costs as industry participants gain experience building large scale solar projects. The supplier selection process for this project is getting underway and the CEFC expects its participation will encourage greater development of a local supply chain," Mr Yates continued.
(UPDATE: Moree Solar Farm began generating solar power in March 2016. In December 2017 the project was refinanced and the CEFC's loan was fully repaid as part of that process. The refinancing brings new investors into the project and enables the CEFC's capital to be recycled as it continues to invest in new projects at development stage.)
FRV is a global solar company that develops, builds and operates solar plants. It is one of the largest solar energy companies in the world and since its formation in 2006, it has participated in the development of more than 350 MW of solar energy in the United States, Spain and Italy. Additionally, the company has a significant development pipeline of over 750 MW including projects in Europe, Australia, South Africa, India, Latin-America and the Middle-East, both in photovoltaic and CSP technologies.
With a world class team, FRV has successfully financed projects for approximately $1.9 billion in the US, Spain and Italy, with over 20 leading international banks.
About Pacific Hydro
Pacific Hydro is a leading renewable energy company, producing clean power from natural resources. For 20 years, Pacific Hydro have lived their vision - powering a cleaner world - by identifying, delivering and operating renewable energy projects and providing clean power and carbon abatement products and services to customers across the globe.
Pacific Hydro is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Industry Funds Management (IFM) Australian Infrastructure Fund. IFM is an investment management company wholly owned, through Industry Super Holdings Pty Ltd, by a large number of Australian superannuation funds.
Through its ownership structure, Pacific Hydro provides sustainable infrastructure investment opportunities for around 5 million Australian members of Industry Superannuation Funds.