Impact completes Brigalow solar park and is now considering project financing

Impact Investment Group said it has completed its latest renewable energy project, the 35MW Brigalow Solar Farm in Queensland, and will now focus on project finance deals rather than project development.

The Brigalow Solar Park, located about 30 minutes southwest of Toowoomba, was made public last year when it had to fight against new state-based rules that would have required all workers – even these stackable panels – to be electricians or skilled apprentices.

The project is now complete after finally going through what is now usually a long commissioning process, and even a brush of fire. It started sending electricity to the grid in March.

The Impact says it will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 10,550 homes, or households in a town almost the size of Lismore. And – citing Lancet’s research – will displace fossil fuel production that will prevent 580 respiratory illnesses each year over the expected lifespan of the solar farm.

“With the completion of the Brigalow Solar Farm, we are well prepared to move on to the next phase of clean energy investment in Australia,” said Lane Crockett, Head of Renewable Infrastructure at Impact.

This will likely focus on the loan and finance market, rather than on the development of new, full-fledged projects.

“Solar developers are looking for short-term loan options specifically designed for the renewable energy sector, and we look forward to working with them,” he said.

“There is a lot of space for specialist lending in Australia,” especially as financiers such as CEFC and Investec have evolved. “There are a lot of projects on the verge of being ready for the shovel, but it’s a delicate market and we can help them cross the line,” he told RenewEconomy.

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