Impact Investment Group says it has completed its latest renewables project, the 35MW Brigalow solar farm in Queensland, and will now focus on project financing deals rather than project development.
The Brigalow solar farm, about 30 minutes rive south west of Toowoomba, came to public notice last year when it had to fight new state-based rules that would have required all workers – even those stacking panels – to be qualified electricians or apprentices.
Impact says it will deliver enough electricity to power the equivalent of 10,550 homes, or the households in a town almost the size of Lismore. And – citing research research from Lancet – will displace fossil fuel generation that will avoid 580 respiratory illnesses each year over the solar farm’s expected operating life.
“With the completion of the Brigalow solar farm, we’re well set up to move into the next phase of clean energy investment in Australia,” Impact’s head of renewable infrastructure Lane Crockett said.
That is likely to focus on the lending and finance market, rather than new project development in its own right.
“Solar developers are looking for short-term lending options that are specially designed for the renewables industry, and we’re looking forward to working with them,” he said.
“There is a big space for specialist lending in Australia,” particularly as financiers such as the CEFC and Investec have moved on. “There are a lot of projects out there close to shovel ready, but it is a tricky market and we can help them get over the line,” he told RenewEconomy.
Brigalow is one of several assets included in the IIG Solar Asset Fund which was launched in late 2018. The group now has six large-scale solar farms across Victoria, the ACT, Western Australia and Queensland.