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Neoen's existing Degrussa solar farm in Australia. Image: Neoen.

Neoen's existing Degrussa solar farm in Australia. Image: Neoen.

What stands to be Australia’s largest solar farm at 460MWp can now progress after Neoen finalised a financing package for it.

The independent power producer (IPP) will now move to the site mobilisation phase of the Western Downs Green Power Hub in Q4 2020 after it signed off on a financing package worth AU$600 million to cover total project costs, tapping a syndicate of seven banking firms for the deal.

Lenders providing debt for the project include Natixis, Sumito Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Société Générale, NORD/LB, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Financing is underpinned by a power purchase agreement signed with local utility CleanCo Queensland for 352MWp of the project’s overall capacity, signed in May. The deal represents one of Australia’s largest renewable energy contracts to date, Neoen said, contributing more than 30% of CleanCo’s target of procuring 1GW of renewable energy generation by 2025.

Louis de Sambucy, managing director at Neoen Australia, said the close of financing represented a “major achievement in a challenging environment”.

“I would like to congratulate the team and thank our bank group and advisors for their trust and commitment. We are extremely proud to be partnering with CleanCo and Powerlink and we’re looking forward to playing our part in helping Queensland reach its ambitious target of 50% renewable energy by 2030,” he said.

Sterling and Wilson was appointed as the project’s EPC contractor in May, leading design and engineering works to start the following month. Construction is expected to last more than a year, with the first energy generation slated for 2022.

Tags: neoen, australia, financing, utility-scale solar, investment, sterling and wilson, natixis, sumito mitsui banking corporation, société générale, mufg bank, nordlb, hsbc, commonwealth bank of australia

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