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FRV points to refinancing move as sign investor appetite is ‘growing’

FRV points to refinancing move as sign investor appetite is ‘growing’

https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2022/07/15/frv-says-refinancing-move-shows-investor-appetite-is-growing/

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Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ (FRV) Australian platform, owned by UAE-based Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and Canadian fund manager Omers Infrastructure, said “enthusiastic” support from global financial heavyweights had allowed it to complete the refinancing of its Lilyvale project in Queensland’s Central Highlands.

FRV Australia, which has established itself as one of Australia’s largest solar developers since its arrival in 2010, said the refinancing package was led by French corporate and investment bank Natixis. Canadian government-owned credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC), and NordLB, one of the largest commercial banks in Germany, were also involved in the refinancing manoeuvre.

Christopher Curtain, the senior managing director of Asia-Pacific operations for Omers, which acquired a 49% stake in FRV Australian last year, said the strong support for the refinancing package demonstrated growing investor interest in Australia’s renewables sector and pointed to a bright future for the industry.

“As a long-term investor, we are pleased to note the enthusiastic interest from the broader market in this specific refinancing opportunity,” he said. “This sentiment speaks to lenders’ steadily growing appetite for opportunities to back high-quality renewable assets, which bodes well for Australia’s green energy transition.”

The Lilyvale Solar Farm has been dispatching electricity to the grid since 2019. Located about 50 kilometres northeast of Emerald in central Queensland, the facility has a net annual energy production capacity of approximately 277,150 MWh, capable of meeting the energy demand of up to 45,000 households while also avoiding emissions of 218,900 tons of carbon annually.

FRV Australia managing director Carlo Frigerio said the refinancing package would ensure the asset continues to contribute towards the energy demand and economic development of the local area, while helping to drive Australia’s transition to green energy.

FRV’s portfolio includes the now-generating Sebastopol Solar Farm.

Image: Beon

The Lilyvale project was the third solar farm completed by FRV Australia and its first in Queensland. It is underpinned by a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Queensland government-owned utility Ergon Energy.

Frigerio said the Lilyvale Solar Farm forms an important part of FRV Australia’s clean energy portfolio, which includes more than 800 MW of utility scale solar PV projects already operational or under construction.

FRV’s Australian portfolio includes the 125 MW Clare Solar Farm in northern Queensland and the 106 MW Winton Solar Farm in Victoria. It also includes the 69.75 MW Goonumbla, the 56 MW Moree, and the 300 MW Walla Walla solar farms, all in New South Wales (NSW). It has also started work on a 5 MW solar-storage hybrid power plant near Dalby in southern Queensland. The Dalby Hybrid Power Plant will comprise 2.4 MW of solar PV capacity and a 2.5 MW/5 MWh battery, making it the first battery energy storage system FRV has developed in Australia.

The company also owns the 115 MW Metz and the 90 MW Sebastopol solar farms, which earlier this year began sending power to the grid in NSW.

Abdul Latif Jameel Energy deputy president and vice chairman Fady Jameel said the company remains committed to paving the way towards a carbon-free world and solar PV is a key element of its strategy.

“Solar farms remain one of the most effective ways to increase sustainable energy generation,” he said. “By supporting Lilyvale solar farm we are further reinforcing our deep commitment to Australia’s transition to green energy.”

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