9 December 2015
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed $67 million as part of a five-year, $276 million senior secured debt financing to what will be Australia’s third largest wind farm, at Ararat in Victoria.
WATCH: Ararat - Powering around 120,000 homes each year
The Ararat Wind Farm Pty Ltd is co-owned by a consortium of Renewable Energy Systems (RES), GE (NYSE: GE), Partners Group on behalf of its clients, and OPTrust. The wind farm has secured a $276 million debt financing package through a financing consortium comprising Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Canada’s Export Credit Agency, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the CEFC.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said: “This 240MW project is set to be the third largest wind farm in Australia, and has attracted almost half a billion dollars of direct international investment into Victoria. In addition, 35 of the towers will be built in Portland, Victoria by Keppel Prince. We are pleased to be supporting a project that is helping grow Australia’s local industry so that it can meet the demand we expect will result from the revised RET.”
The Ararat project benefits from a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Australian Capital Territory Government, guaranteeing the purchase of approximately 40 per cent of the energy produced at the site. The PPA was awarded under the ACT’s wind auction in February 2015.
The Ararat Wind Farm represents an important renewable energy resource for the Ararat economy, and is aiming to produce enough electricity to power around 120,000 homes each year. The project will have a positive impact on the local economy, directly employing around 165 workers in the construction phase, and another 120 indirectly. It is expected to inject up to $8 million into the local economy over two years.
Construction of the Ararat Wind Farm began in July 2015, by a consortium of GE and Downer EDI. Construction is progressing to schedule, with power expected to be delivered to the grid from April 2017.
*NOTE: The CEFC's finance was fully repaid in January 2019.
Media release, 2015