Australian renewables developer Epuron has secured a new finance partner for its portfolio of solar assets in the Northern Territory, including the 4.1MW Uterne Solar Farm in Alice Springs – one of the first large-scale solar projects to have been built with the backing of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Epuron and specialist fund manager Infradebt announced on Monday the close of a $22.2 million senior debt facility covering Uterne, a 1.8MW PV array at the Voyages Ayers Rock Resort and 1MW of solar and batteries at the indigenous communities of Ti Tree, Kalkarindii and Lake Nash.
The facility refinances the initial loan provided by the CEFC, including $13 million to enable the expansion of the formerly 1MW Uterne solar plant using sun tracking technology that – at the time – was cutting edge.
In a statement on Thursday, Epuron acknowledged the key role of the CEFC’s financial backing in the project’s completion, as well as that of a long-term power purchase agreement backed by Territory Generation.
For the Infradebt Ethical Fund, which launched just over a year ago with a cornerstone investment from Future Super, the loan to Epuron marks its seventh investment across 16 individual renewable energy projects.
At the time of its launch, Infradebt said it would focus on merchant wind and solar projects, including to “directly originate lending opportunities with project proponents, co-invest in syndicated lending facilities, and trade opportunistically in the secondary debt markets.”
“Infradebt is pleased to finalise the refinancing of the Epuron portfolio, we have worked closely with Epuron to provide a highly customised facility that complements the unique attributes of the underlying projects,” said CEO Alexander Austin in comments this week.
“We look forward to working with Epuron in the future and assisting them with their future development pipeline.”
Epuron – which is perhaps best known for its work developing wind farms – thanked the CEFC for its early support, and said the company was excited to have Infradebt on board as a new finance partner.
Currently, the company in the process of developing the Liverpool Range wind farm in New South Wales, which at more than 1,000MW could be the biggest in the country.
The project currently has state planning permission for 267 turbines on 25 different properties between the villages of Coolah and Cassilis east of Mudgee.
It will stretch 36km from north to south and 20km east to west in the heart of the New England Tablelands, and part of it will be within the electorate of former National leader Barnaby Joyce.