Wirsol closes financing for 199 MWp of Aussie solar projects
Solar farm. Image by Wirsol (wirsol.com).
Wirsol Energy Pty Ltd on Thursday said it has reached financial close for two solar projects in Australia with a combined capacity of 199 MWp.
Construction on the projects, the 110-MWp direct current (DC) Wemen solar farm in the state of Victoria and 89-MWp DC Clermont solar farm in the state of Queensland, will start next month.
The projects are being financed on a fully merchant basis, Wirsol said. Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is the sole debt financier, committing AUD 207 million (USD 159m/EUR 135m) in debt finance. Equity is provided from Wirsol's parent, Germany-based Wircon.
The two solar farms represent a total investment of about AUD 375 million and add to the three projects Wirsol currently has under construction in Australia. The Wemen and Clermont facilities are expected to be connected to the grid during the third quarter of 2018. "We plan on continuing our success with the next five large-scale solar projects totalling 470MWp that are in development with our joint venture partner, Renew Estate," said Wirsol managing director Mark Hogan. The company has a target of deploying 1 GW of solar by 2020.
The Wemen project was acquired from Overland Sun Farming in November and Clermont was acquired from Epuron just prior to financial close, Wirsol said. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for both projects, as well as operations and maintenance (O&M) agreements, have been awarded to RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX:RCR), while CWP Renewables will be responsible for asset management.
"We are pleased our commitment of $207 million as sole debt financier to the Wemen and Clermont solar farms will enable WIRSOL to begin construction on the two projects as early as January 2018, while the company continues to secure offtake agreements," said CEFC large-scale solar lead Monique Miller.
In a separate announcement, the CEFC said that including these two projects it has reached a milestone with finance for more than 1 GW of large-scale solar across 20 projects. The CEFC has invested in these projects since 2013. Details of its commitments are in the table below: