Innovative finance approach delivers for Ararat Wind Farm
Generating benefits for the local economy
The 240 MW Ararat Wind Farm, just north-east of Ararat in Victoria, is generating enough power for around 120,000 homes.
From a financing perspective, Ararat was actually quite unique, being the first substantially merchant project financed wind farm in Australia. The CEFC, along with SMBC and EDC were able to work with equity to structure quite an innovative financing package which ultimately allowed the project to reach financial close.Tim MichalasVP, Partners Group
The CEFC committed $67 million in senior secured debt financing to Ararat Wind Farm in 2015 as part of a $276 million financing package involving Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Canada's Export Credit Agency, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the CEFC.
The 75-turbine Ararat Wind Farm was the third largest in Australia when it began generating to the grid in April 2017. The farm generates enough electricity to power around 120,000 homes a year, and it benefits from a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Australian Capital Territory Government, which guaranteed the purchase of approximately 40 per cent of the energy produced onsite. Ararat Wind Farm’s construction injected an estimated $8 million into the local economy over two years and supported approximately 165 jobs. Keppel Prince Engineering in Portland, Victoria, built 35 of the wind farm towers.
At the time of investment, the wind farm was co-owned by a consortium made up of Renewable Energy Systems, GE, Partners Group on behalf of its clients, and OPTrust. Subsequently, GE and RES sold their equity stakes to the other consortium investors. The CEFC finance was fully repaid in January 2019