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22 January 2015

Australian green bank and Chinese firm strike solar deal

An Australian green investment bank will partner with a Chinese firm to promote more companies to invest in solar energy and the use of photovoltaic panels, according to media reports on Wednesday.

The Clean Energy Finance Corp will fund the majority of the initiative with China’s ET Solar owning, operating and maintaining the instillation of panels.

Clean Energy has been heavily scrutinised by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The number of PV panels installed in Australia hardly increased throughout 2014 which has driven the creation of this latest partnership, according to research from market analysts Green Energy Trading,

As part of the deal, customers will be able to buy the electricity at an agreed price, lower than the current market price of energy.

Oliver Yates, Clean Energy Finance Corp’s chief executive, said: “We see [thepower purchase deal] finance model as a way to remove the barrier of the upfront capital requirement, which should enable many more Australian businesses to benefit from solar, reducing energy costs and lowering emissions.”

Nanjing-based ET Solar will look to target the commercial market, including shopping centres, through this new venture.

The head of operations and business development for ET Solar in Australia, Sam Khalil, said: “Our first photovoltaic systems installed through this program will involve large-scale commercial projects in Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales, with a rollout to all states around Australia. We currently have a commercial-scale car port structure solar project underway in Queensland, which will incorporate solar energy into a shopping center car park, with a similar construction planned in other states.”

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