Chinchilla solar farm secures debt funding to “go merchant”

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Specialist fund manager Infradebt and specialist renewables co-investor Impact Investment Group announce close of $12m senior debt facility for 20MW Chinchilla Solar Farm.

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A 20MW solar farm in Queensland’s Western Downs region has reached financial close, marking another Australian renewables project to be developed on a merchant basis, and without a power purchase agreement.

Specialist fund manager Infradebt and specialist renewables co-investor Impact Investment Group announced the close of a $12 million senior debt facility for the Chinchilla Solar Farm.

The 19.9MW project, which is currently under construction north west of the town of Chinchilla, is expected to deliver around 41,650MWh of electricity to the grid – enough to power around 7,000 homes.

Chinchilla Solar Farm is part of the growing renewables portfolio of IIG, a specialist fund that is chaired by the former CEO of the Clean Energy Regulator, Chloe Munro.

IIG – whose renewables portfolio is headed up by former Pacific Hydro chief, Lane Crockett – revealed its intentions, in March, to invest $1 billion in renewable generation and infrastructure over the coming three years.

In October, it celebrated the formal opening of the 11MW Williamsdale solar farm in the ACT, and in November last year it secured funding for the 19MW, $32 million Swan Hill Solar Farm, in another partnership with Infradebt.

For Infradebt, the Chinchilla loan represents the fourth investment for its Ethical Fund since the first close in September.

“It’s great to have this additional piece of financing in place. Construction is now well underway, and is expected to complete in the later this year,” said IIG’s Crockett in comments on Friday.

“Chinchilla is another excellent solar asset that will complement our existing portfolio and be a key part of our next investment opportunity, the forthcoming Solar Asset Fund.”

“Infradebt is pleased to finalise its part in financing Chinchilla Solar Farm,” said Infradebt CEO Alexander Austin.

“We have worked closely with IIG to provide a highly customised facility that complements the unique attributes of the project.

“We look forward to working with IIG in the future and assisting them with their future development pipeline,” Austin said.

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1 Comment
  1. Robert Barnes 5 months ago

    (Relatively) small projects here and there are popping up everywhere. Distributed generation is slowly but surely becoming a reality. Little by little we are making the energy transition. It just makes economic and environmental sense. This is where the smart money is.

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