Murra Warra II Wind Farm to commence construction following successful completion of development phase and financial close


Key points:

· Financial close achieved with equity capital commitments provided by Partners Group (on behalf of its clients), and debt finance from a consortium of international banks.

· Construction will commence on Murra Warra II comprising 38 turbines with a capacity of 209MW.

· Power Purchase Agreement with Snowy Hydro.

· Macquarie’s Green Investment Group rates the project AAA in a Green Impact Report, estimating the project will avoid emissions of 468 kilotonnes of CO2e each year.

· The wind farm is expected to provide over 400 full-time equivalent jobs during the two-year construction period, and ongoing employment opportunities

· RES awarded construction and asset management contract.

Murra Warra II Wind Farm comprises 38 wind turbines with a capacity of 209MW. The sale of Murra Warra II builds on the consortium’s success in the development, financing and construction of the adjacent 61 turbine first stage of Murra Warra Wind Farm, which was also acquired by Partners Group (in 2018).

Murra Warra II will deliver economic benefits to the region, and will form an important part of the state, regional and local economic development. The wind farm is expected to provide over 400 full-time equivalent jobs during the two-year construction period, and ongoing employment opportunities during its operational lifetime. The direct economic stimulus provided by the first stage of Murra Warra Wind Farm during construction has been $4.4 million to the local and regional economy through spend on accommodation, retail items and services and this local stimulus is anticipated to be replicated by the Murra Warra II construction.

A locally managed community fund for both projects will inject an additional $4m of investment into local projects over the lifetime of the wind farms.

Green Investment Group (GIG) is part of Macquarie Capital, and today’s Murra Warra II milestone demonstrates the depth and breadth of global expertise in green development within GIG, Macquarie Capital and RES in the context of the Australian market.

Debt financing was arranged from a banking consortium including ICBC, ING, Mizuho, MUFG, SMBC and Société Générale. 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 from Sustainalytics. It 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.

General Electric will provide the 5.5 MW turbines, with a combined output of 209MW. The project will be constructed under contract with General Electric International and its subcontractor, Zenviron.

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.

Murra Warra II has been rated by GIG’s Green Investment Ratings & Impact Advisory Team as AAA in its Green Impact Report with a Carbon Score1 indicating its effectiveness at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Murra Warra II will avoid emissions of an estimated 468 kilotonnes of CO2 each year, generating enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 150,000 Victorian homes.

Matt Rebbeck, CEO of RES in Australia said “RES is proud to have developed another world class project that aligns with our vision of creating a future where everyone has access to affordable zero carbon energy. We are delighted to be able to continue our long-term involvement with the Murra Warra II wind farm and the local community through our construction management and asset management services. With over 6GW of operational projects under management globally, and a portfolio approaching 1GW in Australia, we look forward to working with Partners Group to optimise the project’s construction and operational performance.”

Lachlan Creswell, Executive Director and Head of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, ANZ said, “Macquarie’s Green Investment Group is proud to announce this project reaching sale and construction following its role in arranging equity, debt and the power purchase agreement for the project. The complimentary 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.”