Concerns are growing over the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation providing finance to the wind industry.
This week, the CEFC provided its first ever wind industry finance and investment by paying $37.5 million in senior debt finance for the construction and operation of the Taralga wind farm, located about 45km north of Goulburn in NSW.
The CEFC also invested $50 million as part of the refinancing of the Macarthur wind farm.
Democratic Labor Senator John Madigan criticised the CEFC by saying Australian taxpayers money would be better spent on other things.
“I don’t understand why the Australian taxpayer is loaning money to foreign companies?” Senator Madigan said.
“Why are we helping these particular companies and not Australian ones?
“That money would be better spent helping our farmers, our manufacturers, our schools and our hospitals, among many other things.”
CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said the company was examining investment in a number of significant wind farm projects, but future investments were yet to be confirmed.
“The senior finance debt provided to the Taralga wind farm saved 75 jobs at Kepple Price in Portland, the turbine maker company associated with the wind farm,” Mr Yates said.
“Successful refinancing deals help send a strong message to future large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia that it is possible for developers to successfully complete a development-finance-exit cycle.
“The CEFC wants to assist the wind power industry to get deals done and the company looks forward to working with the industry to achieve outcomes that set Australia on a cost competitive and efficient path to tomorrow.”
The CEFC is a legislated $10 billion fund dedicated to investing in clean energy.
Under its enabling legislation, its investment activities are funded through a special appropriation of $2 billion to a special account every year for five years, commencing from July 1, 2013.
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