DEAL: Aus first solar portfolio acquisition and financing

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 31 Mar 2017

A trio of solar projects has become Australia’s first utility-scale solar PV portfolio acquisition and financing deal, raising hopes that large-scale projects will find long-term financing more easily in the future.

Edify Energy closed financing on March 10, 15 months after acquiring an equity interest in three solar projects from a third-party developer. The projects, which are in the process of being brought to shovel-ready status, are the 57.5MW Whitsunday project in the state of Queensland, and the 57.5MW Hamilton and 50MW Gannawarra projects, both in Victoria. They are expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2018.

The Australia-based developer followed the first portfolio approach to development and financing the Australian renewable energy sector has seen.

"The solar farms were treated as three separate transactions," said Ashurst utilities partner Paul Newman, who advised Edify on the deal. "This means each of them could stand alone...