CEFC Finance in Action: Low Carbon ElectricityDownload section
Solar Finance Delivering 500MW of renewable energy
The CEFC financed 10 large-scale solar projects in 2016-17, delivering more than $440 million in new investment commitments to accelerate projects with a combined value of $1.3 billion.
New generating capacity across the 10 projects will exceed 500MW. Key commitments included:
- Finance for Victoria’s first solar farm, at Gannawarra
- Finance for three major projects to create a ‘solar belt’ in regional NSW, at Dubbo, Griffith and Parkes
- The repurposing of the Collinsville Power Station site in Queensland as a solar farm
- Finance for Stage One of the Kidston Solar Farm in Queensland
- Our first equity commitment to a large-scale solar project, with $20 million to the 116MW Ross River Solar Farm in Queensland
Through these projects, we have seen rapid improvements in the cost competitiveness of solar, so that it is now possible to develop a commercially viable large-scale solar project without grant funding.
As an ASX-listed company focused on renewable energy generation and storage, we are pleased to partner with the CEFC to develop this project. The development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub is an important step in the transition of the Australian economy to a clean, low carbon economy.
Investing in regional communities
CEFC investment commitments in 2016-17 contributed to the construction of two major wind farms in regional New South Wales, delivering ongoing employment and revenue streams to their local communities.
The new commitments were notable for the size of the CEFC investment and the scale of the projects.
- The 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm, in northern NSW, is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 110,000 average homes. It will create an estimated 150 job opportunities during construction. CEFC commitment: $120 million.
- The 113 MW Bodangora Wind Farm, in the central west of NSW, is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 49,000 average homes. It will create an estimated 120 job opportunities during construction. CEFC commitment: $80 million.
As the wind sector has matured, the CEFC has seen growing confidence from investors prepared to invest in projects that may have either partial offtake arrangements or be fully merchant.
Building Bodangora Wind Farm is the first significant milestone in delivering on Infigen’s growth ambitions. We have been delighted to work with our partners in bringing this project to fruition. Critical to our success has been the role played by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and NORD/LB in providing Infigen with debt facilities.
Lithium boost to clean energy supply chain
In a first for the CEFC, we invested $20 million in a West Australian mining project producing lithium concentrate – a central component used in electric vehicles and battery storage.
The Pilgangoora lithium mine is in the Pilbara region, about 120km south of Port Hedland. It will produce lithia raw materials (spodumene concentrate) that can be used to support a full range of lithium products for lithium ion batteries and energy storage solutions.
Worldwide demand for lithium is growing, driven by the increasing uptake of electric vehicles that use lithium ion batteries, and by the growth in energy storage solutions requiring lithium supplies.
The lithium concentrate supplies to be produced by this project will help build Australia’s capacity to supply much needed resources for the clean energy technologies that are set to play a vital role in supporting the increased share of renewables in our future energy mix.
Pilgangoora is a world-scale project which will help underpin the establishment of an important new export industry in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, delivering strategic metals which are an essential part of the supply chain for the global battery supply chain which is currently undergoing transformational growth.
Turning waste into fuel
The CEFC committed $30 million to Adelaide-based ResourceCo to build two new plants that will transform selected non-recyclable waste streams into solid fuel, known as Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF).
The first plant is to be built at Wetherill Park in Sydney and the second to be in another Australian state yet to be announced. PEF is used in cement kilns, reducing the reliance on coal and other fossil fuels.
Reusing waste makes good environmental sense, through the reduction of landfill and landfill gases and the ability to replace fossil fuels.
CEFC research into the bioenergy sector has identified investment opportunities of between $2.2 billion and $3.3 billion to 2020 in the urban waste industry.
Australia produces about 23 million tonnes of landfill each year, causing a growing problem with potential air, water and land quality impacts and generating ongoing monitoring and remediation liabilities.
At ResourceCo we are committed to playing a key role in helping to achieve Australian Government environmental targets, including waste reduction and carbon emission avoidance. With critical finance support from the CEFC, the opening of the NSW alternative fuel plant will work to achieve just that.