An ARENA project in Broken Hill, New South Wales. Source: ARENA.

An ARENA project in Broken Hill, New South Wales. Source: ARENA.

French developer Neoen will develop 130MW(p) of large-scale solar in Australia, with the backing of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The three projects in New South Wales were part of ARENA’s large-scale solar tender that awarded contracts for a total of 482MW of solar capacity. Neoen has received AU$16 million from ARENA and AU$150 million in long-term debt from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to support the trio of new installations.

“This competitive round has driven costs down and investment up,” said Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, ARENA.

“The plants will cost around AU$2 per Watt of capacity, one third cheaper than AGL’s plants in Nyngan and Broken Hill, which cost AU$2.8 per watt in 2014 and were competitive at the time,” he said.

“The Australian large-scale solar sector is now on the cusp of being fully commercial, largely due to support from ARENA and the CEFC,” he added.

Neon, which built the largest solar farm in Europe, is aiming for 1GW of PV assets in Australia.

“With long-term debt from the CEFC, and the support from ARENA, Neoen continues to invest in the future of the Australian energy mix, and delivers on its promises of building sustainable, competitive and renewable electricity,” said Franck Woitiez, managing director, Neoen Australia.

Tags: australia, arena, cefc, neoen, pv power plants, solar pv, investment, finance