IPPToday #33: Equis to develop the largest solar project in Australia
- Equis Group
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Equis Energy, Asia‐Pacific’s largest renewable energy IPP, has received approval from the Western Downs Regional Council in Queensland, Australia to develop the 1,000 MW Wandoan South Solar Project (WSSP), one of the largest solar projects in Australia and the world.
The 1-gigawatt capacity solar farm is to be constructed at a site 21 km south-west from Wandoan in Queensland. It will involve a capital investment of approximately AUD1.5 billion (US$1.18 billion), with a significant amount to be spent locally. Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2018, and to begin delivering power in 2019.
The project, covering 1,424 hectares of land, will be connected to Powerlink’s Wandoan South substation, and will have the ability to add battery storage when commercially feasible. This will allow energy to be stored and will facilitate the generation of power into the evening.
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said:
“We are serious about cementing the Western Downs as the Energy Capital of Australia and securing the enormous economic and community benefits that will bring to our region. Equis has expressed their desire to be proactive in their consultation with neighbours of this project site, and that aligns with the business model we are promoting for renewable energy projects.
The timeframe in which Council has processed this application highlightsthe message we are open for business, and I think it isimportant to reiterate that although our approval process is rigorous, it is efficient.”
Equis Chairman David Russell, said:
“As Asia‐Pacific’s largest renewable energy IPP, Equis is excited about leveraging its economies of scale in the growing Australian market to deliver low‐cost renewable energy. Equis is committed to developing large‐scale solar generation in rural areas to provide employment opportunities and support economic growth in local communities.”
The WSSP project will incorporate up to 3 million solar PV panels and have a generation output of approximately 1,800,000 megawatt hours per year (MWh/year), collectively supplying power equivalent to the annual needs of 255,000 homes, and saving over 1. 7 million tonnes of CO2 annually compared to same generation from coal‐fired power.
As we reported in February Equis Energy moved forward in the development of two solar projects in Australia with a total generation capacity of 200 MW. Equis signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro Limited for a 100 MW solar project located near Tailem Bend. The company also receives approval from the Whitsunday Regional Council for a 100 MW solar project in Collinsville North, Queensland.
We have informed about other solar projects in Australia lately:
- 15 MW Sunshine Coast solar farm in Valdora
- 150 MW Coleambally solar farm in New South Wales
- 50 MW Kidston Solar Project Phase One (KSP1) in Northern Queensland
- 270 MW Kidston Solar Project Phase Two (KSP2) in Northern Queensland
- 20 MW White Rock Solar Farm in New South Wales
- 316 MW photovoltaic project in New South Wales
- 120 MW Merredin solar farm