Lightsource BP closes financing on first utility-scale Australia project, boasts bifacial prominence

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Image: Lightsource BP.

Lightsource BP has signed financing agreements to develop its maiden utility-scale solar project in Australia.

The BP-backed developer has agreed a senior debt facility with Dutch bank ING and Export Development Canada (EDC) to fund the 200MWp project, located near Wellington in New South Wales.

As well as being Lightsource BP’s first in Australia, it is the largest single plant the developer has signed financing terms for to date and is also amongst the first to use bifacial panels in Australia.

Lightsource BP has turned to Canadian Solar to supply the panels, while Array Technologies’ single-axis trackers will be used in a combination, which the company said would allow it to operate the site to “maximum efficiency”.

The project is expected to generate around 435,000MWh of power each year, the majority of which is to be sold under a 15-year power purchase agreement to Australian energy supply firm Snowy Hydro.

ING are to underwrite two-thirds of the project financing and EDC the remaining third. National Australian Bank is to act as facility agent and security trustee on behalf of the two financiers.

Adam Pegg, Lightsource BP’s country manager for Australia, said the project was “just the beginning” of the company’s ambition in the country’s solar market.

“Our team is hard at work advancing a number of projects across the NEM [National Electricity Market]. We’re proud to be pushing the low-carbon transition forward in this country, and to be contributing to the company’s wider goal of achieving 10GW of solar in the next five years,” he said.

Lightsource BP is on a hot streak having recently announced a string of deals in some of the world’s most promising solar markets. Having clinched a multi-gigawatt pipeline in Brazil earlier this summer, a flurry of activity in the US market was followed last week by the company snapping up its first portfolio of projects in Spain.

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