Lightsource BP secures finance, begins construction on second and third solar projects

lightsource BP, ING

Lightsource bp has closed on a A$330 million financing package and begun construction on its West Wyalong and Woolooga solar projects located in New South Wales and Queensland. Financing for the projects was secured from EDC, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo and Westpac, demonstrating solar’s resilience amidst the volatility in the global energy landscape in the last year.

Lightsource bp Australia country manager Adam Pegg said, “Although COVID-19 has disrupted the energy landscape, we are proud to be able to start construction and complete the financing of two large solar projects on a subsidy-free basis, demonstrating the resilience of solar as a sustainable solution to meeting the rising global energy demands.

“With 520MWdc under construction and more than 1.5GWdc in the pipeline, these investments now establish Lightsource bp as a leader in the Australian solar market and we welcome the support of ING, EDC, Westpac and Intesa Sanpaolo.”

Combined, West Wyalong and Woolooga will produce approximately 673GWh of renewable electricity a year. That’s enough to power nearly 100,000 Australian homes and cut carbon emissions by 540,000MT tonnes—the equivalent of taking around 225,000 fuel-burning cars off the road.

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Construction by PCL on both projects has commenced under an early works agreement with full notice to proceed now issued and commercial operations are expected mid-2022. Together with our Wellington solar hub, the West Wyalong and Woolooga projects contribute to Lightsource bp’s pipeline of more than 1.5GWdc—making Lightsource bp one of the largest solar developers to own and operate in Australia once its sites are operational.

States’ net zero ambitions offer supportive financing environment for renewables

Queensland’s ambition to have 50 per cent of energy generation from renewable sources by 2030 and New South Wales’ pledge to construct 12GW of clean energy over the next 10 years unleashes a great deal of private investment opportunities in Australia’s renewables sector.

EDC Head of Structured and Project Finance Guillermo Freire said, “EDC is delighted to be a part of this transaction in support of PCL, which is at the forefront of the renewable energy and cleantech sectors.

“Supporting Canadian companies like PCL plays a crucial role in the global transition to a lower carbon and climate-resilient economy. This transaction will further help solidify Lightsource bp’s position as a leading renewable energy developer in Australia, and globally.”

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ING Bank Global Head of Energy Michiel de Haan said the financing of Woolooga and West Wyalong solar farms adds to a series of transactions it has executed for Lightsource bp, delivering on ING’s commitment to support renewable initiatives and decarbonisation efforts.

“This transaction reinforces our leading track record in the Australian renewables market and strengthens our resolve as we seek to further elevate our relationship with this globally important client,” he said.

Head of the International Department within the IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo Nicola Doninelli said, “We are delighted to cooperate with a leading global company like Lightsource bp. Intesa Sanpaolo Group considers its presence in the Asia-Pacific region as strategic. Australia is especially important and a key market for our bank, given the infrastructural projects that are already in place.”

Finally, Westpac CEO Anthony Miller said, “It is fantastic to support Lightsource bp in these two large scale solar projects in NSW and QLD. Solar will play a significant role in Australia’s energy transition and Westpac is looking forward to working with Lightsource bp in the pursuit of that goal.”