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AGL, QIC fund gets closer to financing 200MW wind farm

The $325m Silverton project will be the first greenfield asset backed by the Powering Australian Renewables Fund, through which the partners aim to deploy up to A$3bn.

Australian utility AGL has received clearance to build the 200MW Silverton Wind Farm project, which could be the first greenfield investment by the platform it launched in July alongside QIC.

This approval marks “a very positive step in the right direction”, according to Adam Mackett, the project manager of the A$450 million ($325 million; €311 million) wind farm. AGL said the approval of its modification 3 application reflects advancements in wind technology as the plant now requires 172 turbines, more than a hundred fewer than under the previous plan. 

Mackett said that there were still a few key factors to be determined before a final decision would be made on whether the project proceeds. These include commercial discussions with a preferred contractor and financing arrangements. 

“A final investment decision is subject to approval from the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). If successful, Silverton could be the fund's first greenfield renewable development and will further bolster AGL's credentials as Australia's largest investor, developer and operator of renewables,” said Mackett. 

The PARF is an investment vehicle sponsored by the Australian utility to invest up to A$3 billion in developing a portfolio of 1GW renewable energy assets in Australia. QIC has committed A$800 million to the fund, on behalf of its clients including Future Fund, while AGL provided A$200 million.

The fund sealed its first deal with AGL last month by acquiring two utility-scale solar farms with a combined capacity of 155MW. AGL said at that time that NSW's Silverton Wind Farm and Queensland's Coopers Gap Wind Farm were expected to be the first two projects offered to the fund.