Financial close for Hornsdale 3rd stage wind farm

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Financial close for Hornsdale 3rd stage wind farm

Neoen, John Laing and Megawatt Capital secure Financial Close for the final stage of Hornsdale Wind Farm (SA), one of the most competitive renewable energy projects in Australia.

French renewable energy firm, Neoen, international infrastructure investor, John Laing, and Neoen’s local partner Megawatt Capital, have secured financial close for the 109 MW third and final stage of Hornsdale Wind Farm, which once fully commissioned will have a total capacity of 309 MW.

Hornsdale Wind Farm stage 3 is setting a new benchmark in Australia by reaching financial close with a highly competitive non-inflating long term cost of energy, successfully securing all funding while covered by one of Australia’s most competitive renewable electricity supply contracts at a fixed 20-year rate of AUD73/MWh (US$55.5/MWh).

All three stages of the Hornsdale wind farm have contracted their energy production through long term Feed-in-Tariffs with the ACT government, awarded through competitive wind and next-generation renewables auctions. In addition, all three stages will generate low-cost power into the South Australian electricity network which is a win-win for both ACT and South Australian electricity consumers

Franck Woitiez, Managing Director of Neoen Australia, commented that:

‘‘With the Hornsdale Wind Farm Stage 1 (100 MW) now complete, and construction well under way for Stages 2 (100 MW) and 3 (109 MW), Neoen is proud to be delivering a low-cost renewable energy future to the ACT and South Australia.

Being a long-term shareholder and renewable energy producer allows Neoen to be at the forefront of technologies and decreasing costs of renewables, which is good for Australia. Neoen now has 455 MW of Wind and Solar generators in construction or operation in Australia, and our target for 2020 is to develop, build and operate at least 1GW of competitive, sustainable and clean energy assets.”

One of the main factors behind the low-cost project economics is the long-term focus of the parties involved.

KFW IPEX-Bank and Societe Generale have firmed-up for the third time a long-term structured finance package for the Hornsdale Wind Farm, reinforcing both groups relationship with Neoen in Australia and globally. Investec provided Junior Financing to the project, in line with its past commitments on Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Mark Schneider of Megawatt Capital Investments, said that:

“The ACT Government are clearly at the forefront of long-term sustainable energy policy in Australia. The Government’s vision and strategy in this area have secured the lowest cost renewable energy contracts in Australia and created a long-term sustainable industry innovation hub in the national capital. Neoen will own and operate the assets over their 20-plus year life through their established Australian operations hub.

Leading technology suppler Siemens have agreed to provide long term maintenance on the equipment supplied, and our debt providers have agreed to provide competitive, long term financing for the project reflecting these long-term commitments. It’s a virtuous cycle, and one that has led to an outstanding result.’’

Blair Townsend, John Laing, Managing Director of Primary Investments - Asia Pacific, said:

“Renewable energy remains an important growth sector for John Laing globally and we are very proud to again be partnering with Neoen to provide renewable energy to the ACT Government. The Hornsdale Wind Farm represents our fourth renewable energy investment in Australia and is another example of John Laing’s increasing commitment and standing in the Asia Pacific market. Along with its portfolio of wind and biomass renewable energy projects in the UK, Europe and the US, this demonstrates our strong expertise in the renewable energy sector across our geographies.”

The announcement follows the news that Hornsdale, in co-operation with AEMO and ARENA, is undertaking an Australian-first trial of Frequency Control (FCAS) services from a wind farm. Under this trial, AEMO will direct Hornsdale to provide grid stabilising services to the National Electricity Market in reaction to rapid changes in supply/demand and other system conditions that have the potential to affect the stability of the South Australian network.

Through the trial, the owners of Hornsdale wind farm together with ARENA and the market operator, AEMO, plan to explore untapped grid-stabilising potential within the advanced Siemens wind power technology.

Hornsdale Wind Farm is being built by Siemens which is providing 99 Wind Turbines (SWT 3.2 MW), alongside with South Australian firms Catcon and CPP, allowing for the local economy benefit from a global investment of more than AUD870 million (US$661 million) for the 3 stages of Hornsdale Wind Farm.

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