ACEN Australia to begin construction of 400MW PV project in New South Wales REZ

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The Stubbo solar project is located in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone. Image: Unsplash.

Renewables developer ACEN Australia is poised to commence construction on its 400MW Stubbo solar project after having executed key contracts and reached a final investment decision, continuing its recent expansion in Australia’s renewables market.

The Stubbo project is located in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone in New South Wales, and its approval contains provision for a 200MWh battery energy storage system which ACEN said will contribute to grid stability in the area by storing and then distributing renewable energy at peak times. It will connect the project to an existing 330kV network.

Amongst the measures that led to this final stage preparation were the signing of a connection agreement with Australian infrastructure and energy services provider Lumea and the execution of a PV module supply contract.

Stubbo solar was granted development permission in 2021 by the New South Wales government and construction is due to commence in late 2022.

“ACEN Australia is pleased to kick off the construction of the Stubbo solar farm. This will be ACEN Australia’s second 400MW solar farm following the construction of New England Solar which is currently being commissioned,” said Anton Rohner, CEO of ACEN Australia.

The company received an AU$75 million (US$47.8 million) investment last week from the national government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) as part of a larger debt raise funding its 8GW pipeline of renewables capacity. It also received AU$140 million from Japanese lender MUFG and an AU$100 million facility agreement with DBS Bank. At the time, Rohner said that the CEFC money would “allow ACEN Australia to expedite our fully developed 400MW Stubbo solar project”.

These quick developments come just a fortnight after the Australian government announced a new budget containing AU$25 billion (US$16 billion) in clean energy investments designed to accelerate deployment.

ACEN Australia is the listed clean energy platform of Filipino conglomerate Ayala. It has stated its aim to deploy 20GW of renewables capacity by 2030, with 1.5GW of projects currently under construction.

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