CEFC makes first RTN investment as NSW steps up clean energy transformation
17 October 2023
The CEFC has confirmed its first investment via the landmark Rewiring the Nation (RTN) Fund, committing $100 million to support the delivery of substantial clean energy projects in NSW. The RTN Fund, formally established in July, is set to play a key role in Australia’s efforts to reach 82 per cent renewables by 2030.
The CEFC investment will support the delivery of renewable generation, long duration storage and grid infrastructure as part of the ambitious NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: "We are delighted to have been able to move quickly to deliver our first investment through the RTN Fund. This capital injection will help deliver considerable benefits for NSW, underpinning regional investment as well as substantial new flows of clean energy. It will also make a positive impact on the achievement of Australia's important decarbonisation ambitions."
The NSW Roadmap is a long-term policy framework to co-ordinate investment in generation, storage and firming infrastructure. Through the delivery of whole-of-system benefits, it aims to transform the NSW energy system to make it cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.
The NSW Government estimates that by 2030 the Roadmap will have supported the delivery of at least 12 GW of additional renewable energy generation and 2 GW of new long-duration storage, unlocking more than $32 billion in private sector investment.1
In delivering the Roadmap, the Scheme Financial Vehicle (SFV)2, acts as a counterparty to long-term energy service agreements and private sector infrastructure contracts for renewable energy zones (REZs) and priority transmission infrastructure projects, including delivery of the 850 MW/1680 MWh Waratah Super Battery. The CEFC investment provides the SFV with a liquidity facility to support cashflow as infrastructure projects are advanced.
Mr Learmonth added: “Rebuilding our energy system is a large and complex task, with infrastructure projects requiring considerable capital, expertise and time to bring online. As a specialist financier, we are able to use our capital to support investment flows through to project delivery and revenue generation, providing confidence to the market and private sector investors.
“In our first decade the CEFC played a key role in developing the large-scale clean energy assets and grid infrastructure required to decarbonise the grid, including investments across a diverse range of direct project-specific investments and via specialist investment funds. We will continue to draw on this expertise in our second decade, via our investments through the RTN Fund.”
The Australian Government has appointed the CEFC as the financing arm of the broader RTN program, allocating an additional $19 billion to the CEFC to finance RTN-related projects.
CEFC RTN investment priorities include transmission (including Integrated System Plan projects), distribution network (including distributed energy resources) and long duration storage Australia-wide. Other opportunities may include projects which reduce emissions and support or strengthen the security, reliability and affordability of Australia’s electricity grids, including demand management projects.
The CEFC has made lifetime commitments of more than $580 million to transmission-related projects, including EnergyConnect and the Southern Downs Renewable Energy Zone and with the private sector, financed more than 5 GW of renewable energy generation. The CEFC has also backed the development of four large-scale batteries, including the Victorian Big Battery, the expansion of the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, the Capital Battery in the ACT and the Waratah Super Battery in NSW.
1 EnergyCo Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap https://www.energyco.nsw.gov.au/about-energyco/electricity-infrastructure-roadmap
2 The SFV works closely with AEMO Services Ltd and EnergyCo. AEMO Services Ltd is responsible for planning, assessing and guiding long-term investment in renewable energy in the long-term financial interests of NSW electricity consumers. EnergyCo serves as the Infrastructure Planner for NSW REZ developments, the Waratah Super Battery Project and the Hunter Transmission Project.
Media release, 2023