CEFC announces $180m investment in major NSW wind farm


The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is providing a debt financing of $180 million for a $360 million wind farm in south-eastern NSW.

The CEFC, which has confirmed investment commitments of almost $1 billion in Australia’s wind sector, has announced a $180 million investment in the Collector Wind Farm, which is being developed by RATCH-Australia.

Located along the Cullerin Range south-west of Goulburn, which boasts some of the windiest conditions in NSW, the project is expected to generate approximately of 528GWh of energy annually, enough to power around 80,000 average homes.

CEFC Wind Sector lead Andrew Gardner said that as sole debt financier to the project, the CEFC had enabled it ‘to reach financial close on a fully merchant basis’, prior to securing energy offtake contracts.

“Finance for fully merchant projects unlocks further wind sector opportunities and builds confidence in their longer-term commercial potential,” Mr Gardner added.

“This development has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 9.3 million tonnes over its lifetime, making a significant contribution to efforts to lower carbon emissions across our economy. We are pleased to see CEFC finance continuing to fill a significant finance gap for developers, with our capital supporting accelerated project development before off-take contracts are locked in.”

RATCH-Australia’s EGM of Business Development Anthony Yeates said that as part of the deal, the company will install storage capability at its CEFC-backed 42.5MW Collinsville solar project in Queensland to improve grid stability in the region.

“RATCH-Australia is very glad to have the CEFC investing alongside us in this project,” Mr Yeates continued.

“The CEFC is one of Australia’s most active investors in renewable energy and this experience really shows in their approach to new projects. Their accumulated experience really helps progress and de-risk the whole industry, and ultimately this benefits everyone.”

The Collector development will feature 54 4.2MW V117 Vestas turbines, with Vestas to use innovative drone and 3D imaging technology to deliver routine blade maintenance and data collection.

“The Collector Wind Farm demonstrates the increasing attractiveness of wind energy as a cost-effective provider of electricity and as an attractive and bankable investment”, said Vestas Asia-Pacific President Clive Turton.

“Vestas is pleased to bring our leading technology, experience and knowledge to provide a customised energy solution for Collector, and to make it the latest in a series of CEFC-funded renewable energy projects that are supporting Australia’s transition to a low-carbon energy system.”

Image credit: https://www.collectorwindfarm.com.au/