• Lightsource bp completes A$540m green financing, reaching financial close on its 425MWdc Wellington North and 90MWdc Wunghnu solar farms.
  • Financing for the projects was secured from ANZ, ING, Mizuho, NORD/LB, and Westpac.
  • Engineering, procurement, and construction contractor Gransolar will now be issued full notice to proceed on both projects, which are expected to be completed in 2024.
  • Lightsource bp is now the leading solar developer and owner in Australia on a MWac basis.

Sydney, Australia

Lightsource bp, a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, has successfully closed on a A$540 million portfolio green financing package and will begin full construction activities on its Wellington North and Wunghnu solar projects located in New South Wales and Victoria. Financing for the projects was secured from ANZ, ING, Mizuho, NORD/LB, and Westpac.

Adam Pegg, Managing Director, Lightsource bp Australia and New Zealand, said: “We are proud to reach financial close on these projects, and we welcome the backing from ANZ, ING, Mizuho, NORD/LB, and Westpac. This is a fantastic achievement from the Lightsource bp team, and I’m grateful for the strong support from our customers, the local communities in which we operate, and these lenders. This milestone now sees Lightsource bp become the leading solar developer and owner in Australia on a MWac[1] basis. It is an incredible effort to reach financial close and construction on 841MWac/1,037MWdc since setting up the business in Australia in 2018.”

Construction by Gransolar on both projects begun under early work agreements in August 2022, with full notice to proceed to be issued and commercial operations are expected in 2024. Together with its Wellington, West Wyalong, and Woolooga projects, Lightsource bp now has over 1GWdc of generating capacity in construction and operation in Australia, which is enough to power over 350,000 Australian homes.

Aaron Ross, Head of Project and Export Finance, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group said: “Lightsource bp’s development of two important solar assets supports Australia’s energy transition and will boost critical energy supply. Greenfield renewable projects align with ANZ’s strategy and target of funding and facilitating A$100 billion of sustainable solutions for customers by 2030.”

Sam Terko, Head of Energy for ING Australia, said: “We congratulate Lightsource bp on this achievement and are extremely pleased that ING Bank has been able to finance all of its projects in the country. ING is committed to supporting clients like Lightsource bp with strong growth ambitions in clean energy who help us maintain our leading track record in financing the energy transition in Australia.”

Yosuke Sato, Head of Project Finance, Deputy General Manager of Australia Corporate Banking Department at Mizuho, said: “Mizuho is proud to be supporting Lightsource bp’s growth ambitions in Australia. We are committed to supporting the renewable energy transition and the financing of the Wellington North and Wunghnu Projects is a testament to this. The transaction further cements Mizuho’s position as one of the leading renewable banks in this market.”

Ross Bennett, Managing Director and Head of APAC Structured Finance at NORD/LB said: “1GWdc in Australia is a tremendous achievement for the Lightsource bp team and we are very pleased to be supporting this great milestone. Congratulations to the team and all those involved along the way. Wellington North and Wunghnu are two exciting projects that will provide a sizeable contribution to the renewable energy transition in Australia and will further add to NORD/LB’s global renewable energy portfolio of more than 50GW across our Structured Finance platform.”

David Scrivener, Head of Energy, Infrastructure and Resources at Westpac Institutional Bank, said: “It is fantastic to again be supporting Lightsource bp in their objective of delivering affordable and sustainable solar power in Australia. Wellington North and Wunghnu solar farms are material in size and will make a meaningful impact for Australia’s emissions reduction targets. Westpac congratulates Lightsource bp on being the first owner and developer in Australia to reach financial close on more than 1GWdc of solar farms.”

The debt package has been structured as a green financing loan, with ANZ, ING, and Westpac as Joint Green Loan Co-ordinators. A Green financing loan is where the funding is earmarked by lenders for new projects that create positive environmental outcomes.

Lightsource bp has also entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with Boral, in addition to the previously announced PPAs with ENGIE, Orica and Mars Australia.

Lightsource bp was advised on the projects by KWM and White and Case.

Lightsource bp continues to progress its greenfield solar PV and battery storage portfolio of more than 4GWdc across Australia and New Zealand, and is exploring other investment opportunities in the sector, including co-location of wind, battery storage, and integration with green hydrogen production.

 

[1] Calculated based on the total megawatts (MWac) of solar generation capacity to have reached financial close in Australia as of December 2022. Source: Rystad Energy.