PFI Australia Clean Energy Financing Roundtable 2022

PFI Australia Clean Energy Financing Roundtable 2022
3 min read

Welcome to Refinitiv Project Finance International’s Australia Clean Energy Financing virtual roundtable webinar transcript, sponsored by SMBC and ING.

The event, held in early March, featured a panel of leading figures in Australia’s renewable energy landscape across lenders, investors, developers and advisers, and attracted a wide audience. The roundtable combined commentary on the financing environment for established wind and solar generation sectors, as well as emerging technologies of battery storage and green hydrogen production. Evolving debt, PPA and EPC structures were also discussed.

Consolidation is set to increase in the sector, panellists agreed, leading to diverse portfolios and new financing and offtake structures.

ING’s Sieuwert De Zwaan spoke of increased prevalence of portfolio refinancings, acquisition financings and holdco financings. “Having a portfolio with a vast variety of offtakers is complex but also provides diversification risk and is really financeable,” he said.

“I think we are at the peak in terms of fragmented ownership in the market and we will start to see consolidation as the larger players come into the market… using that clean generation platform to deliver into a retail book,” SMBC’s Jeremy Hasnip said.

Infrastructure Capital Group’s Andrew Pickering said of managing a rapidly growing renewables platform, “I would expect to see a whole range of different credits on the customer side, tenors, types of supply they are looking for - firm, they may need battery backup - and we are going to have to be sophisticated enough to offer those products right across the board”.

Tilt Renewables’ Steve Symons commented: “I think we are going to see a lot more corporates come to market seeking a firm product rather than run-of-meter, which is what has occurred to date. That will drive consolidation because you need to have a portfolio in order to offer those types of offerings to corporates.”

“I think there is a real nexus here between the evolution of corporate PPAs and the role batteries will play,” said Ashurst’s Paul Curnow. “With batteries, unlike solar and wind where they may have been contracted over longer-term PPAs, you need a team that can manage revenue generation,” he suggested.

Lightsource BP’s Adam Pegg flagged that the global solar developer is focused on batteries, and already has planning approval for projects in three states. “Some of those will support the solar projects we’re developing while some will just be nice add-ons to current facilities.

We see batteries as a real facilitator of solar,” he said.

Alexandra Dockreay,

Project Finance International

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