A$380 million invested in Australia’s largest single solar project financing deal
18 Apr 2017
German group Wirsol and Australian renewable energy developer Edify Energy have completed Australia’s largest single solar project financing to build and operate three new solar farms.
The Whitsunday and Hamilton Solar Farms in Queensland, and the Gannawarra Solar Farm in Victoria are due for completion in early 2018.
A Wirsol media release claims that with a value of A$380 million, the 198MWp installed capacity transaction is Australia’s largest single solar project financing deal.
Construction on all three projects will commence shortly, with the townships of Collinsville, Queensland and Kerang, Victoria expecting to benefit from a peak of 200 and 100 jobs across the two sites respectively.
Upon completion, Wirsol says the Queensland and Victorian energy markets will benefit from the additional 198MWp of renewable capacity, including the first large-scale solar farm in Victoria.
Wirsol recently established an Australian subsidiary and opened an office in Sydney. The company plans to relocate staff from the UK and recruit local Australian experts to support the growth of the business over coming years.
‘We are thrilled to announce the successful acquisition and refinancing of this portfolio as it marks our first move into the Australian renewable sector,’ says Mark Hogan, Managing Director of Wirsol Energy.
‘Our success in Australia has been driven by the significant experience accrued in the European market and deploying 1GW of solar to date. We believe this transaction demonstrates the importance of bringing together industry knowledge and local expertise to successfully develop, construct and finance large-scale renewable projects.
‘We will continue building on this success and are actively seeking to acquire further development opportunities to fulfil our internal ambition of deploying 1GWp solar across Australia by 2020.’
John Cole, CEO of Edify Energy, says he is confident that investment in large-scale renewable energy will become more commonplace in Australia.
‘Transactions such as this demonstrate that the combination of project development and structuring expertise, and investment confidence is once again present in the Australian renewable sector,’ he says.
‘Since acquiring the sites from Solar Choice in 2015, we have taken these projects through the whole land, planning, grid connection and financing process, always with a view to maximising the volume of capacity we can deliver.
‘We are looking to replicate this scale mindset across the rest of our development pipeline and hope to hear of other project developers doing the same.’