New South Wales’ largest solar project to date, the 150MW Coleambally Solar Farm, has reached financial close.
Commissioned by Neoen and located in the Riverina region of New South Wales, construction on the project is set to begin in January 2018.
It will consist of 565,000 solar panels installed on 550 hectares of land.
Neoen Australia managing director Franck Woitiez said the project was good for the economy, the environment and the local community.
“Our project and finance teams have worked very closely to reach financial close for the Coleambally solar farm in a record time, only a year after Neoen selected the site,” Mr Woitiez said.
“We are proud of this achievement and excited to be working together with all our stakeholders, to bring more clean energy to the country.”
EnergyAustralia has committed to buy 100MW of renewable energy from the solar farm through a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
EnergyAustralia energy executive Mark Collette congratulated Neoen on reaching financial close for the project and said it is a “great example of the projects that will underpin a modern energy system in Australia”.
“We’re proud to be partnering with Neoen to bring it to market, so households continue to receive affordable, reliable and cleaner supplies of power,” Mr Collette said.
The solar farm will be connected to TransGrid’s high-voltage transmission network, which sits at the centre of the national electricity grid, with TransGrid providing connection services under a 25-year agreement.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed $30 million in debt finance to the project.
“We are pleased to support Neoen’s investments in the construction of new solar generation in New South Wales. As well as driving lower emissions and regional employment, these investments are delivering renewable energy to large population centres,” CEFC Large-Scale solar lead Monique Miller said.
The CEFC has provided a further $150 million in debt finance to Neoen solar farm developments in Dubbo, Griffith and Parkes.
The Griffith and Parkes solar farm projects are now fully built and are undergoing commissioning, exporting increasing amount of renewable electricity into the national electricity grid as commissioning progresses.
Full-scale commercial operation is expected to be achieved before the end of February.
Once completed, the Coleambally Solar Farm will have an annual generation of 390,000MWh of emissions-free, renewable energy, equivalent to the consumption of more than 65,000 average New South Wales households based on NSW average annual usage of 5.9MWh.