CEFC finance for large-scale solar projects helps drive investment in regional Queensland
1 May 2017
Two Queensland large-scale solar projects are on track to begin construction, supported by a $31.5 million commitment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The projects, at Longreach and Oakey, will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 12,000 homes.
The CEFC finance for global manufacturer and developer Canadian Solar is the latest to be confirmed under the CEFC's large-scale solar financing program. The CEFC has now committed almost $150 million in finance towards large-scale projects in Queensland, accelerating the development of over 210MW in large-scale solar capacity in the state.
"So far, the CEFC large-scale solar program has committed more than $300 million to projects in three states, delivering immediate benefits to local communities and making a substantial contribution to the achievement of Australia's Renewable Energy Target," CEFC Large-Scale Solar lead Gloria Chan said.
"Solar is an increasingly cost-effective energy solution in areas like Longreach and Oakey, which have high levels of solar irradiation. These two projects represent a significant injection into the Queensland economy, that will drive further growth, expertise and diversity in the renewable energy sector. Another important benefit is that the land owners will generate a long-term leasing income from hosting the solar panels."
The CEFC has committed $12 million in senior debt finance to the 15MW (17MWp) $28.7 million Longreach Solar Farm and $19.5 million in senior debt finance to the 25MW (30MWp) $47.5 million Oakey Solar Farm.
Canadian Solar has secured long-term offtake agreements with the Queensland government for the power generated by both farms. Canadian Solar has also secured debt finance from Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and $3.5 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Canadian Solar General manager Daniel Ruoss said both projects had received strong support from their local communities, which had welcomed the addition of solar to their local energy supplies.
"We expect the Longreach Solar Farm, with its 54,600 panels across 86 hectares, to generate enough solar to power around 5,000 Queensland homes," Mr Ruoss said.
"The Oakey Solar Farm, with its 93,600 panels across 60 hectares, is expected to generate enough power for around 7,000 homes. We're already planning for a 55MW expansion to the Oakey project, once the first stage is constructed."
Both projects will use single-axis tracking technology which maximises the amount of generation achieved, by enabling the panels to capture sunlight for a longer period each day than fixed panels.
The two projects are expected to employ around 80 people during construction, with RCR O'Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd undertaking the engineering, procurement and construction of both projects. Construction is expected to begin in May 2017 and reach commercial operations in the first quarter of 2018.
ABOUT CANADIAN SOLAR
Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar is one of the world's largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and provider of solar energy solutions, Canadian Solar also has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale power projects in various stages of development. In the past 14 years, Canadian Solar has successfully delivered over 16 GW of premium quality modules to over 90 countries around the world. Furthermore, Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable companies in the solar industry, having been publicly listed on NASDAQ since 2006. For additional information about the company, visit the Company's website or follow Canadian Solar on LinkedIn.
Media release, 2017