CEFC and Westbourne back Nexif’s Australian wind farm expansion

The energy developer, backed by Denham Capital, will begin construction of stage two of the 212MW Lincoln Gap project later this year after securing $116m in debt financing.

Nexif Energy, a joint venture between Singapore-based energy group Nexif and private equity firm Denham Capital, has secured A$160 million ($115.5 million; €101.0 million) in debt financing for the continued construction of its 212MW Lincoln Gap Wind Farm in South Australia.

The financing for stage two of the project is comprised of A$110 million in mezzanine debt from Westbourne Capital, the fund manager’s second investment in an Australian renewables project, and A$50 million in senior debt from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

When complete, Lincoln Gap will be a 212MW facility producing enough energy to power 150,000 homes and will offset approximately 680,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The CEFC also provided A$150 million in senior debt financing for stage one of the project, which included a 156MW wind facility and a 10MW energy storage system, taking its total commitment to the scheme to A$200 million. Lincoln Gap is the CEFC’s largest commitment to a single wind project to date.

The project’s energy storage system will make it the first greenfield wind development in Australia to include an unsubsidised large-scale grid-connected battery.

Nexif Energy has secured long-term power-purchase agreements for Lincoln Gap with Snowy Hydro and two long-term Large-Scale Generation Certificate (LGC) agreements with energy supplier ERM Power. A single LGC can be created for each megawatt hour of electricity generated by a power station’s renewable energy sources, with LGCs able to be sold or transferred to entities with obligations under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.

Enamul Latifi, executive vice president, development at Nexif, said that there was potential to expand Lincoln Gap further and the company was working on feasibility studies to determine how large that could be, raising the possibility of further opportunities for investors on the project in future.

Financial close for funding of Lincoln Gap’s first stage was reached in November 2017 and construction began in January 2018. Construction on stage two is set to begin in early 2019.

Nexif Energy acquired the Lincoln Gap project alongside a portfolio of wind and solar projects from OneWind Australia, also backed by Denham, in December 2016. Nexif Energy was founded by Denham Capital and Nexis in August 2015 to fund renewables projects across south-east Asia and Australia.