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Murra Warra I Wind Farm turbine rise above fog on a misty morning

Onshore wind

Murra Warra II Wind Farm

04 November 2020

On 3 August 2020, a consortium comprising Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, announced the completion of the development phase of Murra Warra Wind Farm's second stage near Horsham in Western Victoria, and the sale of its interests to global private markets investment manager Partners Group (acting on behalf of its clients).

Key data

209 MW

Installed capacity from 38 turbines

The first

Understood to be the first wind farm in Australia financed through a project finance green loan

150,000 homes

Expected to generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 150,000 Victorian homes


Opportunity

In June 2015, the Australian Government set a Renewable Energy Target of 33 TWh of annual renewable generation by 2020.

This pushed the price of green credits (large-scale generation certificates) to >$A90/MWh, creating a flurry of activity in renewables development.

At the same time retirement of existing baseload coal fire power stations, such as Victoria’s 1600 MW Hazelwood Power Station, created a predicted shortfall in generation capacity, increasing forecast long term black power prices.

GIG saw an opportunity to participate in development of new renewable generation to respond to this market shortfall, by investing to bridge the gap between developers, who often lacked the capital to fund late stage development commitments, and the investor universe which preferred to invest at, or after, financial close of greenfield projects.

Actions

The completion of the development phase of Murra Warra II demonstrates the depth and breadth of global expertise in green development within GIG, Macquarie Capital and RES in the context of the Australian market.

Murra Warra II is understood to be the first time a project finance green loan has been used to fund the construction of a wind farm in Australia. The financing was raised in accordance with the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles, and subject to an independent Second Party Opinion. Debt financing was arranged from a banking consortium including ICBC, ING, Mizuho, MUFG, SMBC and Société Générale.

Pure-play renewables company RES will provide construction and operational asset management services under a long-term agreement. RES and GIG arranged a long-term Power Purchase Agreement for Murra Warra II with utility company, Snowy Hydro through, its Renewable Energy Procurement Program.

Macquarie acquired 50% of the Murra Warra development from RES in January 2017. Following this, Macquarie and RES made the decision to split the site into two stages in order to accelerate commercialisation. Murra Warra I reached financial close in March 2018 and was subsequently sold to Partners Group. 

"Macquarie’s Green Investment Group is proud to have reached sale and construction following its role in arranging equity, debt and the power purchase agreement for the project. The complementary partnership between GIG and RES has led to the successful development of a significant and sustainable renewable energy project for Victoria. The completion of Stage I of the Murra Warra Wind Farm, and the development to construction of Murra Warra II marks a significant milestone for Australia’s renewable energy future."

Lachlan Creswell
Executive Director and Head of Green Green Investment Group, ANZ

Impact

Murra Warra II will be built utilising General Electric 5.5 MW turbines, with a combined output of 209 MW. They will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes in Victoria, avoiding an estimated 468 kilotonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

The project will be constructed under contract with General Electric International and its subcontractor, Zenviron. During the two-year construction period, the wind farm is expected to provide over 400 full-time equivalent jobs, and ongoing employment opportunities during its operational lifetime.

The benefits from Murra Warra II are anticipated to go beyond employment, forming an important part of the state, regional and local economic development.

The direct stimulus provided by the first stage of Murra Warra Wind Farm during construction has been $A4.4 million to the local economy through spend on accommodation, retail items and services and this local stimulus is anticipated to be replicated by the Murra Warra II construction.

Murra Warra II further strengthens the relationships built with RES and Partners Group during the development and sale of the first stage of the Murra Warra Wind Farm. This continuity showcases the value GIG and Macquarie Capital has in being a trusted partner, developer, vendor and adviser.


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