Australia’s CEFC commits $207mn to two solar farms as it passes 1GW of investment
Australian sustainable energy financier Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is investing $207mn into expanding capacity at solar farms in Queensland and Victoria.
This combined 200MW expansion of capacity has helped it to pass 1GW of projects it has supported.
With these latest commitments at the Wemen Solar Farm in Victoria and the Clermont Solar Farm in Queensland, the CEFC has invested in 20 large-scale solar projects since 2013, becoming Australia's largest solar investor.
CEFC Large-Scale Solar Lead Monique Miller said: "Increasing the amount of renewable energy generation in our electricity mix is essential for the Australian economy to achieve net zero emissions in the second half of the century.
“Our investment in large-scale solar continues to play a major role in accelerating Australia's clean energy transition, with CEFC finance helping to demonstrate the commercial potential of these investments in the ongoing development of Australia's critical energy infrastructure."
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This latest investment of $207mn includes $110mn in senior secured debt towards the 110MW Wemen Solar Farm and up to $97mn in senior secured debt towards the 90MW Clermont Solar Farm.
The Wemen Solar Farm is expected to produce enough power to supply nearly 34,000 homes, while the Clermont development is expected to produce enough energy to supply nearly 31,000 homes
CEFC has also announced a partnership with ANZ to establish a $150mn programme to help Australian businesses invest in clean energy and sustainable initiatives.
CEO Ian Learmonth said: “Energy use contributes about 78% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions so it is an area where action is vital. The good news is that businesses can see an immediate reduction in their emissions - as well as their energy costs - by investing in energy efficiency, which is one of the most direct and cost-effective ways for businesses to improve their energy profile."
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.