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CEFC invest $75m toward clean energy debt raise

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will invest $75 million toward Australian renewable energy assets, in support of renewables developer ACEN Australia’s $600 million 8GW clean energy portfolio.

The CEFC finance is part of an ACEN Australia debt raise targeting $600 million and follows a $140 million long-term, green loan agreement with Japanese lender MUFG and an $100 million facility agreement with DBS Bank.

ACEN is a listed energy platform of Philippine diversified group Ayala, with an 18GW development portfolio throughout the Asia Pacific region. ACEN Australia will use the loan to further develop its portfolio of Australian clean energy assets.

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said the investment would support further development of Australia’s burgeoning renewable energy industry.

“Australia needs significant investment to create a 21st century energy mix that decarbonises the grid while delivering a reliable and secure energy supply. With this investment, the CEFC is helping deliver the assets that are critical to reaching net zero emissions by 2050,” Mr Learmonth said.

“Renewable energy, transmission infrastructure and battery and pumped hydro storage all have an important part to play in the clean energy transition. Rapid-responding storage assets will underpin a balanced grid and capitalise on Australia’s unparalleled renewable energy generation potential.

“Importantly, the CEFC is confirming its commitment to leading developers such as ACEN Australia who are delivering more clean energy generation. For ten years we worked with many such players in developing Australia’s solar sector. As developers face new challenges from supply chain constraints and increased costs, the CEFC continues to stand by them to ensure that the momentum built in those early years is maintained and strengthened.”

ACEN Australia has more than 1.5GW of projects under construction or at an advanced stage of development, including the New England Solar Farm, New England Battery, Stubbo Solar and Valley of the Winds projects in the New South Wales New England and Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone, as well as the Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain Wind projects in North-West Tasmania.

ACEN Australia CEO, Anton Rohner, said the $75 million loan would expedite the company’s 400MW Stubbo Solar project.

“ACEN Australia is pleased to be working with the CEFC in decarbonising Australia. The debt facilities provided will allow ACEN Australia to expedite our fully developed 400MW Stubbo Solar project,” Mr Rohner said.

“The project has signed key agreements including Connection Agreements with Transgrid, other construction and panel agreements about to be signed and with a commitment to Stubbo Solar from the ACEN Board in early October, it is expected to be in construction in January 2023.”

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