Spain's Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) has announced the financial close of the 70 megawatt (MWp) Moree Solar Farm in Australia.
Construction will begin immediately, marking the first large scale solar project in Australia that will utilize mechanical devices (trackers) to continually orient its solar panels with the sun to increase their power output each day. Moree will also be one of the largest solar projects in Australia.
Once completed it will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 15,000 New South Wales homes and abate nearly 95,000 tons of carbon pollution each year.
The project is funded by the Australian government through a grant of AUD$101.7 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and debt on commercial terms from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). It is also supported by the Australian government’s existing Renewable Energy Target (RET), which has already delivered significant investment in new clean energy projects in Australia. The RET ensures at least 41,000 gigawatt hours of Australia’s energy demand is met by renewable energy by the year 2020.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said:
“Moree Solar Farm will be the first large-scale solar plant in Australia to use a single-axis horizontal tracking system, where panels follow the sun across the sky to capture sunlight and maximise power output."
“The 56MWac (70MWp) farm will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 15,000 average New South Wales homes.”
“The $164 million Moree Solar Farm will benefit the local economy and will also deliver an estimated 130 local jobs during the construction phase over 2014–2016.
“More than 50 locations around Australia were investigated before the developers selected the site 10 kilometres out of Moree in NSW’s northern wheat belt, an area known as ‘big sky country’.
FRV is a leading global solar development company with approximately 3GW of active project development in the emerging solar markets including Australia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Such markets are primarily characterized by the fact that solar power generation can be provided at cost less than the marginal cost of power and/or have broad support for the development of solar power.
Since 2006, the management team has completed the construction, operation, maintenance and financing of over 450 MW of photovoltaic and CSP solar energy plants.