With the transition to renewable energy well and truly underway, companies across the globe are putting forward projects to capitalise on the opportunities available in the green economy.
But not all projects are created equal, and the abundance of proposals for renewable energy generation or storage operations can result in quality projects struggling to attract secure investments among the jostling for attention.
The Clean Energy Transfer Fund (CETF) is using its expertise in the investment space to make sure the best renewables projects get the support they need.
Established as a specialist fund in 2021, the fund seeks out these projects and signs long-term agreements to purchase future energy output once the projects are operational.
With the certainty of the CETF contracts, known as a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or battery energy tolling agreements, it’s easier for renewables projects to attract the necessary investment to come to fruition.
The backing of the CETF goes beyond the value of a PPA.
As a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) with a Climate Bond Certified accreditation, the CETF also lends credibility to the partner projects and can issue debt in support of these projects.
The process has been achieving significant results.
In the past 12 months, CETF helped secure offtakes across eight wind projects in Victoria, producing approximately 250 MW of clean, renewable energy for Australia.
But renewable generation is only part of the story, with renewable generators intermittent by nature and demand not always synching up with supply.
Having reliable energy storage systems capable of receiving and distributing excess solar and wind energy is critical to creating a future network supported entirely by renewables.
That’s why CETF’s next big project partner is Akaysha Energy, which is working to develop one of the world’s biggest battery sites in the world in Orana, NSW.
At full capacity, the Orana Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) can provide up to 1600MWh with the initial project phase of 200MW by 800MWh of energy storage. That’s enough to power 145 average NSW households for a whole year with a single charge from the initial project phase.
Located on a site adjacent to the local TransGrid substation, the Orana BESS won’t require long transmission lines and will have low environmental constraints, making it the sort of quality project suited for CETF support.
With CETF and Akaysha signing an exclusive offtake option agreement, the development of the Orana BESS is secured and construction is expected to commence in 2023 and be completed in 2024 pending final approvals.
Government has an important role to play in the transition to renewables, but organisations like CETF demonstrate the valuable contributions the private sector can make in securing Australia’s energy future.
Note, Clean Energy Transfer Fund is a client of ReGen Strategic.