SmartestEnergy and Mytilineos sign PPA for Queensland solar power

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The Kingaroy solar farm in Queensland, Australia. Credit: Mytilineos

International electricity company SmartestEnergy has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Greek firm Mytilineos for the latter’s proposed Kingaroy solar farm in the Australian state of Queensland.

The farm is a 40MW project around one kilometre east of the town of Kingaroy, and is currently under construction. Mytilineos expects the project to begin commercial operations in “late 2023”, and noted that a portion of the funds raised from the SmartestEnergy PPA will be invested into completing the project’s construction work.

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The deal will see SmartestEnergy purchase electricity from the project, although neither company involved in the PPA provided details as to the amount of power, or the length of the arrangement. Mytilineos only noted that: “SmartestEnergy will purchase a substantial portion of the solar farm’s electricity output over a long-term period.”

The news follows the Queensland government setting a number of ambitious clean power goals, including a target of generating half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 70% by 2032. Similarly, the government announced its state budget earlier this week, and set aside A$500 million (US$339.7 million) for renewables investment in central Queensland, as well as committing A$19 billion over four years to support wind, solar and energy storage through the A$62 billion Energy and Jobs Plan announced last September as the centrepiece of the state’s energy transition policy.

This money will support a new 2.3GW portfolio of wind and solar projects, to be operated by state-owned power company CleanCo, and has helped set a precedent for new solar investments in the state.

According to Australia’s Clean Energy Regulatory, almost one million small-scale solar systems had been installed in Queensland as of January this year, and the state has installed around 1kW of solar capacity per capita, more than the Australian average of 732W per capita.

“In Australia, solar and energy storage solutions are key to a sustainable energy future,” said Robert Owens, CEO of SmartestEnergy Australia, drawing attention to the fact that the project’s power will be used for Australian homes and industry. “Long-term deals like the new Kingaroy PPA not only help ensure new assets are built in Australia but also enable the delivery of clean energy for decades to come.

“With a 20+ year history of driving energy markets forward, SmartestEnergy has doubled down to refocus its efforts on the net-zero energy transition and what it will take to support generators and businesses in the current and future energy system, driving positive change,” Owens added.

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