Neoen clinches ‘landmark’ PPA to advance Australia’s largest solar farm

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Image: Neoen.

What intends to be Australia’s largest solar farm has edged one step closer to deployment after its developer Neoen clinched a major offtaker agreement.

Today (6 May 2020), Neoen signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) that will see government-owned energy company CleanCo Queensland buy power from 352MWp of solar, built under the Western Downs Green Power Hub.

The project – to be developed near Chinchilla in south east Queensland – is intended to be the country’s largest operational solar farm once complete, with a total output in the region of 460 – 480MWp.

Paris-headquartered Neoen said the arrangement stands among Australia’s most substantial renewable energy agreements to date. Meanwhile, utility CleanCo said it would provide more than 30% of the energy needed to meet its target of procuring 1GW of renewable generation by 2025.

Neoen confirmed that the agreement means that the AU$570 million (US$366 million) project could now advance to the build-phase, with construction slated to begin in July. The plant is expected to connect to Powerlink Queensland’s transmission network in Q1 2022.

Queensland debut to bring 400 jobs to post-COVID economy

Western Downs represents Neoen’s first project in Queensland, despite its already considerable presence in Australia. The firm will remain the developer, long-term owner and operator of the project.

Louis de Sambucy, managing director at Neoen Australia, said Western Downs would become a “lighthouse project” for the company, by delivering “excellent regional economic and local community outcomes” that will be vital in a post-COVID-19 economy.

Up to 400 local jobs will be supported throughout the project’s construction, while a community benefit fund has been established to invest AU$100,000 (US$64,000) in local initiatives each year throughout the project’s operational lifetime.

Australia continues to be a source of interest for the solar sector despite much-vaunted hurdles such as grid congestion. Late last month, existing constraints against five sizeable solar farms in Victoria and New South Wales were lifted after seven months, undoing curtailments that had effectively halved the output of those projects.

The country’s grid operator has however stressed Australia is ready to embrace much greater proliferation of renewables, indicating it will be ready to procure 75% of its power demand from wind and solar from 2025 onwards.

Read Next

February 22, 2021
Six Renewables Energy Zones to be created in Victoria as new ‘VicGrid’ body created to oversee the plans
February 22, 2021
COVID-19-induced project delays impacted India’s solar power transition last year, but 2021 is still set to be a “landmark year” for the resource, according to new research.
February 19, 2021
A new energy strategy in Poland that aims to transition the country to a low-carbon economy by 2040 underestimates the growth potential of solar generation, PV trade associations have suggested.
February 17, 2021
Shorter purchasing contracts with private companies could be a "lucrative" short-term source of income for Poland's solar market.
February 17, 2021
Australia-based exploration company Province Resources has revealed plans to develop a renewables-powered hydrogen plant that will feature 1GW of solar and wind generation.
February 9, 2021
Rooftop solar PV installations grew 18% in Australia in 2020 despite the impacts of COVID-19, with Victoria in particular seeing a “spectacular comeback”.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
March 9, 2021
Solar Media Events
March 17, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021