The first investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) via the Rewriting the Nation (RTN) fund has been confirmed, with $100 million committed to helping New South Wales deliver clean energy projects. 

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 New South Wales Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

The New South Wales Roadmap is a long-term policy framework to coordinate investment in generation, storage and firming infrastructure. Through the delivery of whole-of-system benefits, it aims to transform the New South Wales energy system to make it cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.

The New South Wales Government estimates that by 2030 the Roadmap will have supported the delivery of at least 12GW of additional renewable energy generation and 2GW of new long-duration storage, unlocking more than $32 billion in private sector investment.

In delivering the Roadmap, the Scheme Financial Vehicle (SFV), 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 850MW/1680MWh Waratah Super Battery. The CEFC investment provides the SFV with a liquidity facility to support cashflow as infrastructure projects are advanced.

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 Australian Capital Territory and the Waratah Super Battery in New South Wales.

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said the Corporation is delighted to have its first investment delivered so quickly. 

“This capital injection will help deliver considerable benefits for New South Wales 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,” Mr Learmonth said.

“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.”

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