Vena Energy closes financing on 125MW Australia PV project in Western Downs

By Will Norman

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At its peak, the project will employ around 350 people as part of its construction. Image: Vena Energy

Vena Energy Australia has closed funding for stage one of the 125MW Wandoan South PV project, which is co-located with energy storage.

The project, located in the Western Downs area of Queensland, will be capable of producing 365GWh of energy annually. The announcement comes after Vena inaugurated its 100MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in the same location in August.

The company has partnered with DBS, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, OCBC Bank and SMBC to secure the funding. The banks have agreed to provide debt and ancillary facilities for Wandoan South stage one, which meet the criteria for ‘Green Loan’ financing.

Owen Sela, head of Vena Energy Australia, said that the project will aim to make a difference to the local, regional and national economies during its lifespan. The company anticipates a peak workforce of 350 during construction, as well as opportunities for local businesses to support the construction of the project.

On a broader scale, Sela said “Vena Energy continues to serve its customers’ demand for affordable and clean energy… and contribute towards Australia’s net zero targets.”

“Even accounting for recent cost inflation trends, Solar PV is still one of the most cost-competitive sources of energy in Australia today,” he added.  

All of the partner banks made statements regarding their commitment to sustainable projects and roles in financing Australia’s energy transition. “The financing of the Wandoan South Solar Project adds to several transactions we have executed for Vena Energy in Australia and globally,” said Sam Terko, head of energy for wholesale banking at ING Australia.

The Wandoan South project is Vena Energy’s third green project financing in Australia, and the Western Downs area is home to a swathe of other sustainable energy projects including Australia’s largest solar farm, which is currently under construction.

In the agreement, DBS acted as the Joint-Green Structuring bank alongside Intesa Sanpaolo, as well as Financial Model Coordinator and Facility Agent, whilst SMBC acted as the Technical Coordinator and Project Account Bank.

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