Feb 22 2023
TagEnergy Honoured with PFI Deal of the Year Award for Golden Plains Wind Farm
TagEnergy’s landmark $2bn Golden Plains Wind Farm mega project has been recognised as one of the most significant and innovative global transactions of 2022 after being named Asia Pacific Renewables Deal of the Year in the prestigious Project Finance International (PFI) Awards.
The awards, overseen by international project finance intelligence publication PFI, honour achievement and ingenuity in the global project finance market.
TagEnergy was lauded for its ability to enter construction of the largest permitted wind farm in Australia on a fully merchant basis, with a model that boasts long-term financing and unique re-leveraging features when the project becomes contracted.
TagEnergy is the sole investor in stage one of the 1,300MW project with Ingka Investments, part of the Ingka Group which owns most IKEA stores around the world, to take a 15% stake once it has received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Golden Plains Wind Farm, near Geelong, Victoria, was supported by commercial and institutional lenders. TagEnergy secured non-recourse finance from a lenders group comprising Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, Denmark’s EKF, Germany’s KfW IPEX-Bank, Japan’s Mizuho and Bank of China.
The award underscored TagEnergy’s ability to unite banks and other lenders around leading projects and bring innovation into the markets in which it operates, CEO Franck Woitiez said.
“We’re proud to be recognised for our innovative approach to the market. The broad acceptance of our unusual and more commercial investment model by a roll call of major participants and global financiers points to a rapidly-maturing industry embracing inventive approaches that help speed project timelines and the energy transition.”
“While this award singles out Golden Plains Wind Farm, TagEnergy is committed to bringing our distinctive, innovative approach to every project we embark on in the fast-changing renewables market.”
In readying for financial close on the project, TagEnergy entered an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with global turbine supplier Vestas, appointed AusNet Services to undertake grid connection works on a build, own and operate model, and entered a grid connection agreement with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). It also contracted Westwind for 30 years to manage the wind farm, compliance with all permits and community engagement.
With all agreements and finance in place by November 2022, construction on the 756MW Stage One development featuring 122 turbines begins in early 2023, with the project expected to start producing green energy in the first quarter of 2025.
Early works are already well underway including finalising detailed design work, procuring critical infrastructure, and upgrading roads in the district to support construction of the wind farm and improve travel for the local community.