The second 100MW stage of the 105-turbine Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown in South Australia has reached financial close, nearly four years after the project was first approved for construction.
The project’s developers – French company Neoen, Australian partner Megawatt Capital and infrastructure investor John Laing – said on Monday that the wind farm had, for the second time in less than a year, secured a long-term debt financing package from KFW IPEX-Bank GmbH and Societe Generale.
It has also twice been awarded a 20-year contract to supply green energy to the ACT, with the second stage achieving a record low price of $77 per MWh, which has been credited to the wind farm’s excellent resource and an optimal finance/equity structure.
Hornsdale wind farm was South Australia’s first new-build wind project to get approval after legislation of the reduced Renewable Energy Target.
The 32 turbine, 100MW first stage of the project got the final green light for development in August 2015, after its $250 million investment was signed off by the SA planning minister; and is well advanced through construction.
Turbines for the project, located 200km north of Adelaide, are being supplied and built by Siemens, which will also complete associated project works and maintain the wind farm under a long-term maintenance contract.
Once complete, the wind farm will contribute significantly to the ACT’s target of 100 per cent renewables by 2020, and Stage 2 of the project is expected to generate more than 250 jobs in SA during construction.
In a statement on Monday, Neoen said its “develop-and-hold approach” had been enhanced by the financing, which had provided crucial stability and continuity for the project.
“Societe Generale acted as sole hedge provider and in a first of its kind provided a contingent hedge three months prior to financial close to fix interest rates and assist Neoen with a smooth closing process,” the statement said.
“Neoen, as a Developer, Investor and Asset owner, has the recipe to bring together high quality, complex and innovative projects,” said Neoen Australia managing director Franck Woitiez.
“We like Australia, and we want to build more than 600MW of Renewable Energy projects by 2020.
“Hornsdale… is for Neoen an example of what the company can achieve: bringing together financiers, offtakers, EPC and partners and repeatedly deliver its promises,” he said.
Siemens Australia head of energy David Pryke said the project demonstrated a win-win for all stakeholders.
“The second stage of the Hornsdale wind farm is good for the economy, good for the environment and, importantly, good for both the ACT and the local community,” he said.