Construction of what will be one of Australia’s biggest, and lowest cost, wind energy developments, the 530MW Stockyard Hill Wind Farm in western Victoria, is set to go ahead, after developer Goldwind reached financial close on the $700 million project.
Goldwind said in a statement on Thursday that it had executed documents for project financing for construction of the wind farm, through a nine-member domestic and international bank syndicate led by NAB.
The consortium includes three of Australia’s Big Four banks – NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth.
For Goldwind, the achievement is the latest for a project that in May stunned the clean energy industry by setting what was a new benchmark for renewables off-take deals in Australia, after Origin Energy siged a long-term power purchase agreement of below $55/MWh.
This cost, considered by some to be an outlier, is validated by the financing deal.
Interestingly, the only bank not to take part, ANZ, was just today announced as the member of a separate consortium, led by Telstra, to sign a major new PPA for RES Australia’s Murra Warra wind farm.
This project is also set for construction in Victoria, and also set to be one of the biggest wind projects in Australia, at 429MW, and is believed to have set a price similar to that of Stockyard Hill.
“This very competitive wind farm is being built as a result of the Australian government’s successful Renewable Energy Target and the long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Origin Energy,” said Goldwind Australia managing director, John Titchen.
“The project is progressing well, Goldwind will use its new generation GW3(s) turbines and a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin and WBHO has been appointed as the preferred contractor for the construction of the project balance of plant.”
Goldwind has also appointed the SNC-Lavalin WBHO Joint Venture as the preferred contractor for the project, on which preliminary work will commence “soon”.
Titchen says the company anticipates full construction of the wind farm will be underway in the first quarter of 2018.
Alongside NAB, the bank syndicate consists of ABN AMRO, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (MUFG), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Mizuho Bank, Societe Generale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Westpac Banking Corporation.