Another solar farm planned for Collinsville, as Blackrock buys in

Alain Brian
Août 12, 2017

The Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Natixis (EPA:KN) are providing long-term debt finance for the projects.

Developer Edify Energy's latest large-scale solar projects are the 150MW Daydream Solar Farm and the 50MW Hayman Solar Farm.

They are located near its 57.5MW Whitsunday Solar Farm and the 57.5MW Hamilton Solar Farm, which are already under construction.

Another 42MW solar farm is being developed by RATCH-Australia Corporation, at the site of the disused Collinsville power station.

The transaction is "one of the the largest solar portfolio financings to date in the Australian market", said BlackRock.

All five projects have secured finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which has committed more than $900 million to solar and $2.7 billion to clean energy projects and programs.

Origin has signed a 12-year power purchase agreement for 100% of the output from the Daydream solar farm, which is expected to be operational by mid-2018.

The assets were bought through a private fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets, with long-term debt financing provided by the government's Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corp., Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. and worldwide investment firm Natixis. Edify will retain 10% of the equity interest and provide the projects with construction and long-term asset management services.

Energy generated by the Hayman solar farm will be sold into the grid on a merchant basis.

The projects have the ability to integrate future storage solutions, he said.

Two major solar projects slated for construction in northern Queensland have reached financial close this week, locking in development of another 200MW (AC) of large-scale solar generation near the state's former coal hub of Collinsville.

"This demonstrates a growing understanding of the investment opportunity available through large-scale solar, and a willingness to provide patient capital to develop this important renewable energy resource", Chan said.

BlackRock Australia head Dominik Rohe said: "We are pleased to add renewable power capabilities to the local investment platform, as we leverage the unprecedented investment opportunities in this space while continuing to build out and diversify BlackRock's Australian business".

Sustainable Energy Research Analytics, a consultancy, estimated there is about 311 megawatts of solar power now in operation in Australia, 1 gigawatt under construction and a further 6 gigawatts in advanced stages of design.

The assets have been acquired through a private fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets, which invests in wind and solar assets globally.

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