Lightsource bp starts building 490MW of solar projects in Australia

By Tom Kenning
PPAs for two PV projects have been signed with French utility ENGIE, Australian-based multinational corporation Orica and food giant Mars Australia. Image: Lightsource bp

Lightsource bp has started construction on its 400MW Wellington North and 90MW Wunghnu solar farms in New South Wales and Victoria, respectively.

Having announced today that it will reach financial close on the two projects later this year, with completion expected in 2024, the London-headquartered company looks set to become one of the largest solar developers and owners in Australia.

The firm, which entered the Australian market four years ago, has signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the two PV projects with French utility ENGIE, Australian-based multinational corporation Orica and food giant Mars Australia. For construction, Lightsource bp has contracted Spain-based EPC firm Gransolar.

To date, Lightsource bp has 1GW of projects in operation and under construction across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. This includes the 107MW West Wyalong and 214MW Woolooga Solar Farms, which are due to be completed by the end of 2022 as well as the 200MW Wellington Solar Farm, which is already operational.

“We have been able to deliver our projects managing major disruptions, including commodity price increases, escalating costs, supply chain disruptions, and COVID-19,” said Adam Pegg, managing director at Lightsource bp Australia and New Zealand. “Lightsource bp has been able to navigate and deliver high quality projects, demonstrating the strength and resilience of our people and business.

“The outlook for solar in Australia and the region is incredibly strong, with increasing political support, greater investor certainty, and capital looking to participate in the sector.”

The company is also exploring hybrid projects in Australia that would combine solar with battery storage, wind power or green hydrogen production, Pegg noted. It also has more than 4GW of operational and planned projects across Australia and New Zealand.

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