BlackRock fund buys 90% in 200 MW of Aussie solar projects

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We worked alongside Commonwealth Bank and Natixis to deliver a syndicated facility where all parties were comfortable with providing long-term finance that extends past the period covered by the contracted offtake agreement.

Developer Edify Energy's latest large-scale solar projects are the 150MW Daydream Solar Farm and the 50MW Hayman Solar Farm. These include Edify's 57.5MW (AC) Whitsunday Solar Farm and the 57.5MW (AC) Hamilton Solar Farm, which are already under construction.

He said: "It is a major step forward towards mainstreaming solar renewable power in Australia".

The transaction is one of the largest solar portfolio financings to date in the Australian market, BlackRock said.

Edify Energy has reached an agreement with BlackRock Real Assets to sell a 90 per cent interest in a 200 MW/AC solar portfolio in Queensland.

All five projects have secured finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which has committed more than $900 million to solar and $2.7 billion to clean energy projects and programs.

Edify Energy, which will maintain a 10% stake, will develop the project and provide long-term asset management services. Hayman, however, will operate as a merchant plant.

The two projects will have the ability to incorporate storage down the track, supporting the flexibility and security of the power grid, according to Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.

"This demonstrates a growing understanding of the investment opportunity available through large-scale solar, and a willingness to provide patient capital to develop this important renewable energy resource", Chan said. Chief executive Paul Dalgliesh said RCR now has over half a gigawatt of large-scale solar projects on its order book and more than 1 GW in an earlier stage of development. Australian funds manager, Impact Investment Group (IIG), will fund the solar farm's construction. The projects consist of about two million solar panels.

BlackRock Australia head Dominik Rohe said: "We are pleased to add renewable power capabilities to the local investment platform, as we leverage the unprecedented investment opportunities in this space while continuing to build out and diversify BlackRock's Australian business".

Jim Barry, global head of BlackRock Real Assets, said the company's renewable power investments now amount to more than $4.8 billion of equity assets under management.

Construction on both projects will commence in September and commissioning is expected about the middle of next year.

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