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CEFC-backed renewables fund launched by Palisade

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A $600 million specialised renewable energy fund targeting brownfield and late-stage wind and solar project development in Australia’s renewable energy market has been launched by Palisade Investments.

Palisade’s fund, or PREF, was established in partnership with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which has committed up to $100 million of funding towards the planned acquisition and development of more than 500MW of renewable projects over the next four years.

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The idea for the fund, first flagged in April, was welcomed by the local renewable energy industry, which is still struggling to attract finance and off-take agreements nearly one year after the Coalition government and the Labor opposition agreed to reset the national renewable energy target at 33,000GWh by 2020, down from 41,000GWh.

As we reported in April project developers had complained that financiers weren’t coming to the table in the absence of long-term contracts from utilities, or corporations for that matter, and with the threat of policy uncertainty lingering under the Turnbull administration.

At that time, only one large-scale project – apart from those given a 20-year contract by the ACT government’s own renewables scheme – had been committed, and that project, the 175MW White Rock wind farm near Glenn Innes, was being funded by Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind.

PREF is seeded with two brownfield wind farm assets, Waterloo Wind Farm – the 6-turbine extension of which was successfully completed over the weekend, using Australian made turbine towers – and Hallett 1 Wind Farm, and will continue to focus on construction and brownfield projects, as well as late-stage development projects.

“We are pleased to have supported Palisade on the establishment of this fund, which will enable it to develop a diverse portfolio of renewable assets which will deliver attractive long-term returns,” said KWM corporate M&A partner David Eliakim.  

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