Victoria’s largest solar farm secures financing

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Paris-based renewable energy producer Total Eren has secured financing for its 256.5MWp Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria.

The solar farm will be financed by Australian and European financial institutions, including ANZ (Australia), ING (Netherlands), and Natixis (France). Additionally, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has taken a minority equity stake in the project.

The 256.5 MWp Kiamal Solar Farm will be a highly innovative utility-scale solar farm, leading the Australian renewable energy market as it transitions to a low carbon, high renewables economy.

The total value of the debt financing reaches circa $250 million, with the CEFC having a $51 million minority equity stake in Kiamal Solar Farm.

Currently under construction, the solar farm is expected to reach commercial operation later in 2019. It will be made up of over 718,000 PV panels with single-axis trackers covering over 500 hectares.

When completed, Kiamal will be Victoria’s largest solar power plant; producing enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 133,500 Victorian homes and displacing more than 610,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Kiamal is underpinned by four Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) contracted with one large food manufacturer (Mars Australia), two energy retailers (Alinta Energy and Flow Power), and a collective of 13 leading Victorian water corporations (Zero Emissions Water, or ZEW).

The combined equivalent PPA term is approximately 15 years.

The construction of the project is led by a turnkey Consortium jointly led by Biosar Australia, part of the Greek infrastructure group Aktor S.A., and Canadian Solar, one of the world’s leading solar PV technology suppliers.

CEO of Total Eren, David Corchia, said, “The successful Financial Close of Kiamal constitutes another important milestone in Total Eren’s development in Australia.

“With our first project in this country, we are excited to be able to contribute to the shift towards renewable energy in Australia and to local development in Victoria.

“I would like to thank our financing partners ANZ, ING and Natixis, as well as CEFC and our outstanding team on the ground who together enabled us to go ahead with the construction of what will be the largest PV power plant in Victoria and one of Total Eren’s largest solar assets worldwide.”

CEO of CEFC, Ian Learmonth, said, “We are very pleased to be equity stakeholders in Kiamal Solar Farm – the project that marks the Australian market entrance of Total Eren, an experienced renewable Independent Power Producer.

“We see the project’s new power purchase model as an important demonstration of how a diverse range of customers can hedge their energy costs through offtake Agreements.”

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