Plans to develop a 29.9MW solar farm in Victoria’s north-east have taken a step forward with developers Sun Farms Australia appointing Energy Estate to advise on fund raising for the project.
Energy Estate, the advisory arm of NSW-based renewables developer Renew Estate, said on Tuesday that it had been tapped to raise funds for the $45 million, shovel-ready project, proposed for development in Wangaratta.
The firm, which is also working with Sun Farms on the sale of its 142MW Queensland Dysart Solar farm, has its own big plans for the Australian renewable energy sector, including a combined solar, wind, battery storage and pumped hydro project proposed for NSW.
It also boasts former ACT energy and climate minister and architect of the territory’s hugely successful renewable energy policy suite, Simon Corbell, as a chief advisor.
In said in a statement, Energy Estate principal Simon Currie said he felt confident about finding investors for Sun Farms’ smaller-scale Victorian project, despite current market challenges.
“Whilst we recognise this is a sensitive and challenging time, Energy Estate has been able to secure investment, offtake and grid connection contracts for four separate projects and portfolios for our clients over the past month,” Currie said.
“Due to the shovel-ready status of the grid, Wangaratta Solar Farm is de-risked and perfectly placed for a range of investors to acquire and deploy capital in 2020.”
Sun Farms director Ben Barnett is likewise confident that the solar farm will find backers, due to its smaller size, “strong fundamentals,” and location on the grid.
“The project is strategically very well located … and is far removed from the curtailment and queuing issues currently being experienced on the West Murray region of the grid in Victoria,” Barnett said.
“The (Marginal Loss Factor)… is high and stable due to its proximity to the load centre of Wangaratta.”
Barnett also noted that the local government and network operator were both supportive of the project, as was the wider community.
Construction is expected to start in Q3 2020, creating up to 125 jobs during an estimated 8-9 month construction period.