Australia’s international wind energy company Windlab Limited will begin construction of its $75 million Kiata wind farm in January 2017, after securing financing from John Laing Group plc and National Australia Bank.  The project achieved financial close today.

Kiata Wind Farm (Kiata) is a 30MW, 9 turbine project located west of Horsham, Victoria, near the town of Nhill.  Construction is expected to take less than 12 months with the wind farm being operational before the end of 2017.  The project will create more than 70 jobs during construction.

In developing the project Windlab deployed the same innovative, award winning community engagement model used at the recently completed, industry leading Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm.  This model results in greater openness and transparent communications with all local stakeholder and results in nearby neighbours of the wind farm owning a portion of the project once operational.  On completion twenty-four project neighbours will own around 3% of the project.

Under the terms of the investment agreement, John Laing will provide a majority of project equity and will own approximately 72% of the wind farm.  The balance will continue to be owned by Windlab and project neighbours.  National Australia Bank will lead debt financing for the project and will provide a facility of up to $50 million.

On completion, the windfarm is expected to generate around 134,000 megawatt hours of electricity per annum – enough power to supply more than 20,000 homes.

The project has moved quickly to close financing after signing a contract in June 2016 to supply Large-scale Generation Certificates to the Victorian Government under their innovative supply agreement.

“The Victorian Governments innovative scheme for the procurement of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) has played an important role in re-vitalising the wind industry after a period of decline resulting from Federal Policy uncertainty.  Coupled with its more ambitious and progressive 2025 Renewable Energy Target, these initiatives will help bring billions of dollars of investment to Victoria and significantly reduce the states’ carbon footprint.” stated Roger Price, Windlab Chief Executive Officer.

“This is another Windlab project successfully partnered with the local community. This win-win outcome will ensure that the neighbours and community of the wind farm benefit from this investment for the next 20 years.”

Landowner Steven Clark said “We’re all for it, after seeing the turbines at Coonooer Bridge, we think they look pretty good.”

Windlab has selected Vestas as both the EPC contractor and wind turbine supplier for the project. Vestas will also support the ongoing operation of the project through a long term warranty, operations and maintenance agreement.

Windlab will continue to manage the project through its global operations centre based in Canberra.

About John Laing

John Laing is an international originator, active investor and manager of infrastructure projects. Its business is focused on major transport, social and environmental infrastructure projects awarded under governmental public-private partnership (PPP) programmes, and renewable energy projects, across a range of international markets including the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and North America.

John Laing’s global solar, wind and waste treatment renewable portfolio (either held directly or managed by John Laing through the listed John Laing Environmental Assets Group – JLEN) consists of 27 projects, 18 of which are operational and nine currently under construction.  This includes recent investments in onshore wind projects in the US, France, Germany and the UK as well as  offshore wind in Germany.

This investment in Kiata will complement John Laing’s existing investments in the Hornsdale Wind Farm Stages 1 and 2, in South Australia.  The company is also currently working on a number of other Australian development projects in both solar and wind.