Origin Energy Limited (Origin), Australia's integrated energy company combining a focus on gas-fired generation with owned and contracted renewable energy, has entered into an agreement with global solar company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) to purchase solar power from the proposed 100 MW Clare Solar Farm in north Queensland.
Under the terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA), Origin will purchase 100 per cent of the output and large scale renewable energy certificates (LRECs) from 100 MW Clare Solar Farm, located 35 km west of Ayr in northern Queensland. The PPA will run for 13 years from the commencement of operations until December 2030.
FRV will commence construction on the 300-hectare site later in 2016, with operations expected to commence in 2017. Origin has also secured an option to develop a further 35 MW of capacity.
The deal follows the signing of a 15-year PPA with FRV for the solar power generated by the 56 MW Moree Solar Farm in northern NSW in March and further signposts Origin’s commitment to adding more renewable energy into its portfolio.
As well as utility scale solar, Origin is building Australia’s largest solar canopy at Westfield Marion in Adelaide, a 263 kilowatt solar array on the roof of the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra and is planning to build a 3 MW system on the roof of the new Tonsley technological precinct in Adelaide.
Frank Calabria, Origin Energy Markets CEO, said:
“The cost of solar is falling rapidly compared to other renewable resources and Origin is well-placed to capture opportunities towards our aspiration to be Australia’s number one renewables company.”
“Now is the ideal time to invest in solar and we have been actively looking for opportunities to diversify and add more renewable energy to our portfolio. The sunshine state is ideal for generating solar and Clare Solar Farm is in an optimal location close to existing transmission infrastructure, as is Origin’s DA-approved Darling Downs proposal in southeast Queensland."
“Clare Solar Farm will generate more solar energy than any other Australian project, utilizing singleaxis tracking technology with panels that follow the sun to maximize generation capacity throughout the day."
“Origin has a strong track record of supporting and underpinning investment in renewables through PPAs, including Snowtown II in South Australia, and the signing of this PPA means construction at Clare can commence towards the end of the year.”
Rafael Benjumea, FRV Chief Executive Officer, added:
"The Clare PPA was another significant step in achieving FRV’s strategy to develop and build renewable power generation assets across Australia and globally. The agreement is yet another Australian market first for FRV and, building upon the successful delivery of the Royalla and Moree solar farms, is a strong vote of confidence in FRV’s ability to deliver large scale solar projects in Australia.”