Proponents of the $225 million Ross River Solar Farm have announced financial close for the project.
Palisade Investment Partners and ESCO Pacific say construction will now commence on the 148MW project, located on a 202ha former mango plantation near Townsville.
Construction is expected to take 12 months and will be undertaken by Downer Utilities Australia with oversight from CAT Projects as owner’s engineer.
ESCO obtained development approval for the solar farm from Townsville City Council in June 2016.
It has since received approval for a further 470MW of solar farms in Queensland, forming part of a secured development pipeline in excess of 1,500MW.
Palisade and ESCO signed a long-term PPA for Ross River with EnergyAustralia in December 2016.
ESCO Pacific managing director and founder Steve Rademaker said achieving financial close on the Ross River Solar Farm demonstrated ESCO Pacific’s ability to deliver projects to a bankable standard.
“We have a significant pipeline of projects and a proven platform to deliver projects to market over the coming years,” he said.
The project will be funded through equity commitments from Palisade’s recently-launched Palisade Renewable Energy Fund and three of Palisade’s institutional clients, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), VicSuper and HESTA.
The CEFC will invest about $20 million in the Ross River Solar Farm as part of its $100 million allocation to Palisade’s renewable energy strategy. In addition, the CEFC has provided a $75 million cornerstone commitment to the Palisade Renewable Energy Fund, sending a strong signal to institutional investors and accelerating the delivery of clean energy opportunities