solar power

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) and the Clean Energy Finance (CEFC) have started funding initiatives of up to A$350m ($244.2m), which will be granted for up to ten new large-scale solar projects in the country.

Arena has launched its large-scale solar competitive round with a A$100m programme, which is inviting bids from major solar photovoltaic (PV) proposals.

Each of the projects is expected to maintain a minimum generation capacity of 5MW and will be granted a maximum of $30m.

CEFC’s solar financing programme will offer up to A$250m for projects having a loan, with requirements of $15m or more. The funds are aimed to ‘unlocking additional private sector investment in the large-scale solar sector’, Arena stated.

Funding is expected to be granted to at least four projects.

CEFC support will be granted to Arena grant recipients, along with benefits of long-term debt finance for respective projects.

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"CEFC finance will be the single largest debt financing commitment to the Australian large-scale solar sector."

Arena CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: "The funding round is about unlocking that capability to deploy large-scale solar farms across the nation.

"This will drive further innovation in the sector and create efficiencies in Australia’s solar PV supply chains."

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said: "While the costs of large-scale solar PV are decreasing, this financing boost will help Australian projects move down the cost curve, in-line with international trends.

"When fully deployed, the CEFC finance will be the single largest debt financing commitment to the Australian large-scale solar sector.

"The CEFC’s provision of fixed-rate longer-dated senior debt finance is designed to directly support the network of financiers, project suppliers and developers in the delivery of additional large-scale solar in Australia."

Image: View of solar power photovoltaic panels. Photo: courtesy of maya picture/