AC Energy closes funding for Australia solar farm

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    AC Energy said subsidiary UPC\AC Renewables Australia has reached financial close for the first 400 megawatts (MW) phase of the New England Solar Farm at Uralla in New South Wales (NSW).

    In a statement, AC Energy said debt financing for the initial stage of the project is being provided by Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Bank of China for an undisclosed amount.

    AC Energy said the first phase of the power plant has a project cost of A$619 million (P 23.07 billion) wherein they will have an equity of US$320 million (P15.34 billion).

    Grid connection and initial energy production are expected by July next year as the full phase of the project which will involve a combined 720 MW solar and 400 MW battery capacity is targeted to be in service by the end of 2023.

    An initial 50 MW from the battery segment of the project is being eyed for completion by mid next year to “assist with electricity grid stability and provide firm capability to deliver energy at peak periods, lowering prices for consumers.”

    “The New England solar farm is the first project within our large portfolio to reach financial close and we are very excited about building our first project in Australia… This is a very large energy project even for Australia and we are proud to be associated with the New England Solar Farm and the local community and helping to transition NSW towards a clean, lower cost energy future,” said Brian Caffyn, UPC Renewables’ executive chairman, in a statement.

    UPC\AC Renewables Australia is a 50/50 joint venture between AC Energy and Infrastructure Corp. and UPC Renewables. – Jed Macapagal