The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), ING, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) to provide financial backing for X-ELIO’s Blue Grass Solar Farm in Queensland.
The 200 MW Blue Grass Solar Farm is X-ELIO’s largest solar farm development in Australia delivering a $215m capital investment in Queensland, where it will power 80,000 local homes and deliver an anticipated 420GWh of green energy annually.
Since commencing construction in October 2020, the solar farm has created approximately 400 new construction jobs for the local Western Downs region.
X-ELIO is a global leader in renewable energy with significant strategic ambitions in Australia and more than 600 MW of pipeline currently in development across the East Coast, including additional projects for NSW and VIC.
20th January 2022. Leading global renewable energy producer X-ELIO today announced it has reached financial close for its Blue Grass Solar Farm in Queensland ahead of full commercial operations expected in Q1 2022, with backing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), ING, and SMBC.
The successful financial close follows a number of significant milestones for the Blue Grass project, including a landmark virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Salesforce – its first renewable energy offtake agreement in Australia – and the commencement of construction of the 200MW utility scale farm in October 2020.
X-ELIO also partnered with Queensland’s transmission network provider Powerlink to deliver new grid connection assets for the project, and appointed Gransolar as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
The 200 MW Blue Grass Solar Farm, located 14km west of Chinchilla in Queensland, is expected to offset approximately 320,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, in support of the Queensland Government’s commitment to generating 50% of its electricity needs from renewables by 2030.
The Blue Grass Solar Farm project represents the opening phase of X-ELIO’s long-term interest in Australia’s energy transition where it plans to leverage its 17 years’ experience as a global leader in the development, construction and operation of solar PV projects, having built 2.6 GW solar PV plants across more than 10 markets globally.
“We’re thrilled to have achieved financial close for the Blue Grass Solar Farm – our largest solar project in Australia and one that strengthens our position in the domestic renewables market where we continue to pursue new growth opportunities. This includes more than 600 MW of projects in our development pipeline which is growing exponentially each year. X-ELIO is a global business with a local mindset, and we are committed to enhancing economic and social outcomes in the local communities and regions where we operate”.Belinda Fan, X-ELIO’s Country Manager in Australia
“This latest investment commitment demonstrates that CEFC expertise and capital have a critical role to play in the ongoing evolution of Australia’s renewable energy sector. Blue Grass Solar Farm will feature the latest technology that this innovative sector can deliver, including high efficiency bifacial panel technology, making it a solar farm for the 21st century.”CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth
“We are delighted to support X-ELIO on their first investment in Australia, which further reinforces our institutions’ global relationship.
ING has a strong commitment to financing the Australian energy sector and to helping our clients globally in realizing their growth ambitions in clean energy generation. The transaction contributes towards ING’s ambition to make a positive impact and to steering our loan book towards meeting the net-zero climate goals.”Sieuwert de Zwaan, Head of Energy for ING Australia
“It is with great delight to support X-ELIO on financing their largest solar project in Australia. Blue Grass will be a major addition to the Queensland grid when it starts generating early this year. As one of the largest financiers of renewable energy projects globally, SMBC has set itself ambitious targets for sustainable and green financing by 2030. Financing the Blue Grass project is another important and meaningful step towards achieving these goals and towards a more sustainable future.”Jeremy Hasnip, Head of Power & Renewables and Head of Energy Transition for SMBC Asia
X-ELIO is a company specialized in the development, construction, financing and operation of solar PV plants and sustainable energy development with a global presence in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Japan and Australia. The firm has 17 years of experience with more than 2.6 GW built. In 2020, it achieved more than 300 million euros in revenues. The group is a world leader in renewable and sustainable energy, with a strong commitment to greenhouse gas reduction and the fight against climate change.
About the CEFC:
The CEFC has a unique mission to accelerate investment in Australia’s transition to net zero emissions. We invest to lead the market, operating with commercial rigour to address some of Australia’s toughest emissions challenges. We’re working with our co-investors across renewable energy generation and energy storage, as well as agriculture, infrastructure, property, transport and waste. Through the Advancing Hydrogen Fund, we’re supporting the growth of a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry. And as Australia’s largest dedicated cleantech investor, we continue to back cleantech entrepreneurs through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund. With $10 billion to invest on behalf of the Australian Government, we work to deliver a positive return for taxpayers across our portfolio.
ING changed the way Australians bank over 21 years ago by launching the country’s first branchless bank. ING now offers Australians award winning home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending, insurance and wholesale banking services.
ING is Australia’s most recommended bank according to RFi XPRT Survey, April 2021 – September 2021 (n = 32,103) when compared to customers of 20 other banks operating in Australia. It is also Australia’s fifth largest main financial institution (MFI) with 6% of market share according to RFi XPRT Survey, April 2021 – September 2021 (n= 32,103). MFI is defined as the bank the consumer says is their main financial institution.
ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292 AFSL and Australian credit licence 229823
Headquartered in Tokyo, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) is a leading global financial institution and a core member of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC Group).
SMBC is one of the largest Japanese banks by assets, with strong credit ratings across our global integrated network spanning over 41 countries and regions, 16 of which are here in Asia. We work across SMBC Group to offer personal, corporate and investment banking services to meet the needs of our customers.
Built upon our rich Japanese heritage, we put our customers first and provide seamless access to, from and within the region. Rising in Asia, with Asia. For more information, please visit www.smbc.co.jp/asia/
Tlf. +61 422 558 112