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Lightsource bp lands finance for Australian solar farms

https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2022/12/12/lightsource-bp-lands-finance-for-australian-solar-farms/

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Lightsource bp, an equal joint venture between renewables developer Lightsource and Britain-headquartered oil giant bp, confirmed it has reached financial close on its 425 MWdc Wellington North Solar Farm being developed near Dubbo in central west New South Wales (NSW) and the 90 MWdc Wunghnu Solar Farm in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley.

Engineering, procurement, and construction contractor Gransolar has already commenced early works at the project sites but Lightsource bp said it will now issue full notice to proceed on both projects, which are expected to be completed in 2024.

Financing for the projects was secured from ANZ, ING, Mizuho, NORD/LB and Westpac. The debt package has been structured as a green financing loan – where the funding is earmarked by lenders for new projects that create positive environmental outcomes.

Lightsource bp also entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Australian building manufacturing and supply company Boral. The agreement is in addition to existing offtake deals with electricity retailer Engie and industry heavyweights Orica and Mars Australia.

Early works have already commenced at the Wellington North site.

Image: Gransolar

Lightsource bp’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Adam Pegg, said reaching financial close on the projects is a testament to the strength and resilience of the company.

“This is a fantastic achievement from the Lightsource bp team, and I’m grateful for the strong support from our customers, the local communities in which we operate, and these lenders,” he said. “This milestone now sees Lightsource bp become the leading solar developer and owner in Australia on a MW basis.”

Pegg said Lightsource bp has reached financial close and construction on more than 1 GWdc of PV capacity in Australia since establishing a presence in 2018.

Lightsource BP, which announced in 2021 that it plans to reach 25 GW of solar project capacity by 2025, has nominated Australia as one of its key markets and now has five projects in operation and under construction across NSW, Queensland, and Victoria.

The Wellington North Solar Farm is being built next to the existing Wellington Solar Farm.

Image: Lightsource bp

The company already has a 200 MW solar farm at Wellington in operation, and is scheduled to complete the 107 MWdc West Wyalong project in NSW, and 214 MWp Woolooga Solar Farm in Queensland by the end of the year.

More projects in their early stages include the 520 MW Goulburn River Solar Farm, the 840 MW Sandy Creek Solar Farm and the 400 MW Gundary Solar Farm, all in NSW. It is also developing the 364 MW West Mokoan Solar Farm and the 50 MW Mokoan Solar Farm in Victoria.

Lightsource bp said it is also exploring other investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector, including co-location of wind, battery storage, and integration with green hydrogen production.

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