Ararat Wind Farm

The CEFC commitment of $67 million to Ararat Wind Farm, being built at Ararat in Victoria, is part of a $200 million senior secured debt financing package for the $513 million project.

Project scope

The 240MW project is aiming to produce enough electricity to power around 120,000 homes – approximately six per cent of Victoria’s households. The Ararat Wind Farm benefits from a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) awarded by the ACT government under its February 2015 wind auction. This guarantees the purchase of about one third of the energy produced at the site.

The project was the first wind farm contract to be signed following agreement on the revised Renewable Energy Target in June 2015. Ararat Wind Farm involves equity investors and sponsors RES, GE, Partners Group and OPTrust. GE and Downer are jointly delivering the engineering procurement and construction management (EPC).

Progress report

The first turbine blades arrived onsite in June 2016 and the first power was generated in late August 2016, with five turbines producing about 23MWh of power each day. Windlab is performing asset management services following the commissioning of the first section of turbines during construction and will manage the wind farm when operational.

Looking to the future

Wind is a central component in the delivery of the RET. The CEFC’s investment in wind projects encourages the participation of co-investors, creating additional market liquidity to lift overall investment in the sector. Financing certainty can reduce the cost of capital, which in turn contributes to efficient market pricing and has a positive impact on the final cost of energy.

Debt support from the Export Development Canada and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was an important part of the debt financing package. Agencies such as EDC and CEFC are playing a significant role in assisting the private sector invest in clean energy developments such as the Ararat Wind Farm. GE Australia, New Zealand and PNG CEO
Geoff Culbert