Large-scale Solar Farms

Australia will be endowed with 10 new large-scale solar power facilities via $350 million investment from two main government clean energy partners. This follows the establishment of the southern hemisphere’s largest solar facility in NSW. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will provide funds and loans to support the main solar farm projects grants and loans to set the solar projects in motion.

The deal will support not less than four (4) and possibly up to ten (10) solar farm projects. ARENA will provide a much as $30 million, which is part of its $100 million plan whereas Clean Energy Finance Corporation will offer a harmonious $250 million commercial-scale solar financing plan.

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht stated a main purpose of the investment programme was to lower the cost of commercial-scale solar projects so that solar gained price equality with wind energy by 2020.That would mean that projects would require the demonstration of a delivery cost of $135 per MWh in this period as solar chased a normal wind cost of $80 to $90 per MWh, he stated.

Mr Frischknecht said the focus on solar for this investment programme weighed up the various projects on the drawing board and focusing on commercial scale projects would make correction on previous target on rooftop solar.

“Australia has huge natural advantages in this area: more sun than almost anywhere else and a solar R&D sector that is the envy of the world,” Mr Frischknecht stated.”Projects seeking funding from ARENA and debt finance from the CEFC will benefit from our organisations working together during each stage of the application process, to minimise transaction and due diligence time and costs.”

Among the primary purposes was to enhance capacity so that indigenous suppliers could lower their prices for goods like frames and pipes, he stated.Mr Frischknecht indicated that all the sunny areas will benefit a lot but projects could build up in most territories with a main criteria being the presence of an off take agreement.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will offer long-term fixed rate loans that it is certain would also attract e other sources of finance.

“While the costs of large-scale solar PV are decreasing, this financing boost will help Australian projects move down the cost curve, in line with international trends,” CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates stated.”When fully deployed, the CEFC finance will be the single largest debt financing commitment to the Australian large-scale solar sector. The CEFC’s provision of fixed-rate longer-dated senior debt finance is designed to directly support the network of financiers, project suppliers and developers in the delivery of additional large-scale solar in Australia.”

“By working closely with ARENA, and investing alongside private sector co-investors to bridge the financing gap for projects that make commercial sense, we’re seeking to build Australia’s expertise in solar and bring down development costs.”

The federal government recently prompted the CEFC to stop investing in  wind and solar projects. As per the A CEFC spokes woman previous statement, consultation was in progress to come up with a concise agreement and solution.

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