Renewable energy

Solar

Solar potential in Australia

With the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any country in the world, and substantial cost reductions in solar technology over recent years, there is significant future opportunity for growth in deployment of solar technologies in Australia.

The CEFC has invested in large and small-scale solar projects using solar photovoltaic (PV), solar tracking, concentrated solar power and solar thermal technology. Demand for solar financing continues to be strong, and CEFC’s overall pipeline includes sponsors seeking finance for potential solar projects valued at over $3 billion.

The CEFC is seeking to attract greater private investment in solar by developing a track record of proven credit and operational performance.


Large-scale solar

The CEFC has a $250 million Large-Scale Solar financing program providing debt finance to solar PV projects of 10MW or more. The offer of fixed-rate longer-dated senior debt is aimed at sponsors seeking loans of $15 million or more.

The program is open to projects that have, or intend to seek Power Purchase Agreements, as well as projects proposing to take some merchant electricity market exposure. Loans sourced through the program can be used to complement ARENA’s Large-Scale Solar PV Competitive Round funding program, as well as other large-scale renewable energy development programs.


Important information for project sponsors

If you are interested in seeking finance for a large-scale solar project:

A strong track record

The CEFC has a strong track record of supporting large-scale solar in Australia, with CEFC finance currently supporting the development of about a third of the total 300MW of large-scale solar currently installed or under construction in Australia. Large-scale solar projects which have received CEFC funding to date include:

  • $46 million in senior debt financing for the 56MW Moree Solar Farm in New South Wales
  • $15 million towards Australia’s largest solar and battery storage project to date, at Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa copper mine in Western Australia
  • $17 million towards remote solar projects in the Northern Territory
  • Support for the Royalla solar farm in the ACT, which received finance from the NAB Climate Bond, where the CEFC was a cornerstone investor
  • $20 million in debt financing for the Barcaldine Solar Farm in Central Queensland 
  • The CEFC also played a leading role in helping South Australian-based Sundrop Farms Pty Ltd secure capital for its approximately $150 million innovative application of solar thermal technology.

 

Small-scale residential and commercial solar PV

CEFC finances a range of programs for solar PV, including leasing and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), helping to expand and deepen the solar PV market in Australia.

The financing programs offer products tailored for specific market segments:

  • A 12-year $100 million CEFC financing commitment to help support Origin’s offering of power purchase agreements (PPAs) to business and residential customers, helping more consumers access solar energy. The CEFC finance is supporting the expansion of Origin’s Solar as a Service offering, which involves Origin owning, installing and maintaining solar PV systems on household and business customers’ roofs. More information
  • Up to $70 million for a program by SunEdison Australia, a global solar manufacturer and provider of solar energy services and solutions, offering customers solar leases or the option to purchase the power under a PPA
  • Up to $20 million finance for a program offered by Tindo Solar – the only Australian manufacturer of solar PV panels, funded by the Solaire Income Fund (a Lighthouse Infrastructure and Impact Investment Group joint venture) offering a PPA product to commercial and residential customers

The CEFC has also co-financed solar PV installations by Australian Agricultural Company Limited (AACo) across a number of its regional and remote facilities. This highlights the potential for businesses across the country to reduce costs and increase competitiveness through greater use of solar PV and other renewable energy sources.

Victoria's Central Goldfields Shire Council undertook energy efficiency upgrades and installed solar PV panels on one of their buildings to reduce their energy costs.

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    Highlights

  • Westpac and the CEFC are working together on a $200 million program for Australian businesses offering low-cost finance for solar, energy efficient technologies and low emissions vehicles. Read more

  • Solar panel

    The CEFC is committing up to $20 million in cornerstone debt finance for a large-scale solar farm near the historic Central Queensland town of Barcaldine. Read more 

  • Crowd of people

    The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has established a $250 million loan program to support Australian councils to invest in clean energy technologies. Read more

  • Biodigester

    The CEFC’s Paul McCartney discussed the future of bioenergy at the Australian Bioenergy Conference on 30 November. Read more