Octopus finances first Australian solar farm

15 January 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Edify Energy’s planned 333MW (dc) Darlington Point solar farm reached financial close on 21 December with more than AUD 450m (USD 324m) from Octopus Investments and two Australian banks.

The financial close of the deal was announced on Monday (14 January).

It is the first utility scale solar project Octopus has financed in Australia since it officially set up shop here in July 2017 and is its biggest investment in a solar project globally to-date.

Construction of the solar farm, which at the moment is the biggest planned project of its kind in Australia, will start shortly and it is expected to be generating power by early 2020.

Commonwealth Bank and Westpac Bank are providing the debt for the deal, but the debt/equity split has not been disclosed.

The project is backed by a power purchase agreement from Delta Electricity for 55% of its output. Delta’s sole asset is the 1.3GW Vales Point coal power station on the Central Coast of New South Wales. But it is diversifying into renewables, including building a solar plant next to the Vales Point plant and contracting for power from renewables projects.

Developer Edify will maintain a minority equity stake in the generator and manage the asset once built.

The plant will be built about 10km south of the town of Darlington Point in NSW near the regional centre of Griffith, about 600km west of Sydney. 

“Darlington Point ticked the right boxes for us – there’s excellent solar resources in the region, plus it’s right next door to a major existing transmission substation and the site has development approval to accommodate batteries in the future,” said Octopus managing director Sam Reynolds in a statement. 

Signal Energy Australia is the EPC contractor for the project in a joint-venture with Canadian Solar, which will perform the operations and maintenance role on the project as well.

Law firm Allens advised Octopus.

Octopus Investments declined to comment further on the financing of the project. Edify did not return calls.

 

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