Wind farms are flavour of the month as banks bend over backwards to supply funds

Loans for stage one of the Golden Plains Wind Farm in Rokewood worth $2 billion have been settled as the project gets underway with the first 122 turbines

Workers can now get a start with the $2 billion stage 1 funding for the Golden Plains Wind Farm now settled and ready for disbursement

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is playing a leading role in the development of Australia’s renewable energy sector by financing the greenfield construction of Victoria’s largest approved windfarm, one of the largest in Australia.

TagEnergy will build Stage 1 of the Golden Plains Wind Farm in Rokewood near Geelong in early 2023, after achieving financial close with project finance support from CBA.

The $2 billion, 756 MW Stage 1 development will feature 122 turbines and is expected to start producing green energy in the first quarter of 2025. When both stages of the Golden Plains Wind Farm are complete, the 1,300MW project will provide green electricity to more than 750,000 households, the equivalent of every home in regional Victoria.

“Australia has a significant opportunity to harness renewable energy to green the grid and decarbonise the economy, and we believe we have an important role to play in supporting our clients to accelerate the net-zero transition,” said Sally Reid, Global Client Solutions, at Commonwealth Bank.

“We’re incredibly proud to support TagEnergy with financing for this important new project, which will deliver reliable, green electricity both to Victoria and the National Electricity Market.”

There are 122 wind turbine installations underway for stage one of the $2 billion 756 MW Golden Plains Wind Farm development of green power at Rokewood near Geelong Vic but no power generation is expected until 2025

TagEnergy Chief Executive Franck Woitiez said the mega-project will help accelerate the clean energy transition while bringing economic benefits to the local community.

“TagEnergy is proud to bring our expertise in large-scale developments to drive this crucial project. Financial close for Stage 1  is a major milestone for the Golden Plains Wind Farm and our commitment to the Australian market as we work with our partners to help realise Victoria’s and Australia’s renewable energy ambitions.”

 CBA served as mandated lead arranger alongside the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Westpac, Denmark’s EKF, Germany’s KfW IPEX-Bank, Japan’s Mizuho Bank and the Bank of China.

“The transaction marks an important milestone in the evolution of Australia’s renewable energy sector, as the project reached financial close without power purchase agreements (PPAs)”, said Neil Fraser, Executive Director of Natural Resources and Energy at CBA.

“The electricity sector has had a challenging year and the need for a new generation of this scale has never been greater,” said Fraser. “TagEnergy has worked with banks to establish an innovative financing structure which ultimately facilitated the project closing on a full merchant basis — a rarity in the Australian market.”

The transaction builds on CBA’s long track record of supporting the growth of Australia’s renewable energy sector.

The bank already had $4.9 billion in total committed exposures to the renewable energy sector on 30 June 2022. CBA was the first Australian corporate to join the RE100 initiative in 2018, pledging to source 100 per cent renewable electricity globally by 2030 and achieving this for our Australian operations in 2020.