Port Augusta solar project gets financial backing

SOLAR: The 70MW solar farm in Northern NSW, a similar, but smaller proposed project than the Bungala Solar Project.
SOLAR: The 70MW solar farm in Northern NSW, a similar, but smaller proposed project than the Bungala Solar Project.

Reach Solar energy reached financial close on the first phase of the 300 Megawatt Bungala Solar project near Port Augusta.

And at the same time, entered sale agreements with Enel Green Power (EGP) and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF).

The project will be built on land leased from the Bungala Aboriginal Corporation, about 12 kilometres from Port Augusta.

Throughout construction, it will create up to 350 jobs.

On full completion it will produce enough electricity for around 130,000 homes, will be able to assist the grid with ancillary services, and is ‘energy storage ready’ for the future. 

Reach Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tony Concannon was proud of the announcement, stating it is ‘great news’ for the Port Augusta community as it transforms into a ‘renewable energy hub’. 

“We’re delighted to announce today financial close on the first phase of the Bungala Solar project and the project sale to the EGP and DIF equal joint venture,” Mr Concannon said.  

“This transaction marks the largest equity and debt finance arrangement in Australia for a solar PV project and is great news for the Port Augusta community as it transforms into a renewable energy hub.

The project is aligned to the recent energy policy announced by the South Australian Government, and has very experienced parties across all aspects.

Mr Concannon said EGP is a world class renewable operator and DIF is a world leading fund management company. It follows recent announcements by Solastor who wish to develop a modular solar thermal facility near Port Augusta, Nick Xenophon helping to strike a federal government deal for a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta and Nexis Energy’s Lincoln Gap Wind Farm moving ahead.

Head of Australasia for DIF Management Australia Marko Kremer said DIF is delighted to be part of the project.

“DIF is delighted to add Bungala Solar farm to its existing investment portfolio,” he said. “We are excited to be part of the Australian renewable energy landscape which supports the nation’s commitment to a greener economy as well as creating significant job opportunities in the Port Augusta region.” 

The financial close milestone for Bungala Solar One incorporates debt and equity commitments for the project’s second phase, Bungala Solar Two.

Origin Energy will purchase all electricity and renewable certificates produced by both solar projects under a Power Purchase Agreement signed in late 2016. The first electricity will be supplied to the grid by first quarter 2018, with 220MW fully operational by the third quarter of 2018.