Wind farm refinancing supports future renewable energy projects
1st CEFC wind sector transaction
The 420 MW Macarthur Wind Farm in south-western Victoria is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The refinancing of the project in 2013 demonstrated to developers in the clean energy sector that there was a feasible exit strategy for large-scale renewable energy projects.
The involvement of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in the refinancing of the Macarthur Wind Farm will facilitate our ongoing activities in Australia and we look forward to the opportunity for further collaboration.Mark BinnsChief Executive, Meridian Energy
In 2013, the CEFC invested $50 million as part of a syndicate of co-lenders which refinanced 50 per cent of the Macarthur Wind Farm to facilitate the exit of joint venture partner Meridian Energy. The other joint venture partner was AGL, which retained its 50 per cent stake in the ~$1 billion project.
The CEFC provided finance on the same terms as other syndicate members, operating commercially to help leverage private sector financing into renewable energy. The refinancing helped the market build an understanding of the CEFC approach and its ability to participate to assist projects to reach financial close. The CEFC finance was fully repaid in June 2018.
Macarthur Wind Farm has been fully operational since January 2013 and has enough capacity to generate energy to power the equivalent of 220,000 average Victorian households a year, while reducing carbon emissions by 1.7 million tonnes a year. CEFC involvement, which provided senior secured debt financing to Meridian, played a valuable commercial role in supporting other syndicate members ANZ, NAB, ING, Shinsei, ICBC and EKF to provide market liquidity. The successful refinancing deal demonstrated to future large-scale renewable energy project developers in Australia that it was possible to successfully complete a development-finance-exit cycle.