Neoen started full-scale commercial operation at its 189-megawatt peak (MWp) Coleambally Solar Farm in New South Wales, the largest fully operational photovoltaic (PV) facility in Australia, the French energy company announced Thursday.
Fully owned by Neoen, Coleambally is producing the greatest solar energy output in the Australian National Electricity Market, according to a statement from the company.
The 550-hectare solar farm wits 567,800 solar PV panels will generate over 390,000 megawatt-hours of clean, emission-free, renewable energy per year, which is enough to power more than 65,000 New South Wales households, it said.
"That will make a significant contribution towards reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, and is equivalent to taking either 90,000 cars off the road," Neoen added.
Commissioned and connected by Neoen to TransGrid’s high voltage transmission network, the Coleambally solar farm is located in the Riverina region.
The facility is supported by a 12-year power purchase agreement with leading energy retailer EnergyAustralia. Under this agreement, EnergyAustralia will take 70 percent of the solar farm’s energy output and the remainder will be sold directly to the market.
Neoen Chairman and CEO Xavier Barbaro said with this project, Neoen confirmed its status as Australia’s number one independent renewable energy producer.
"We are very proud to be bringing into service this new power plant, which is a perfect illustration of our wide-ranging expertise: our ability to work on both wind and large-scale solar projects in Australia, to negotiate purchase agreements bilaterally with utilities, and to sell part of our production in the spot market now that grid parity has been achieved," he added.
According to the statement, site preparations at the farm began in January 2018, with full construction and connection completed between March and September 2018.
Specialist clean energy financier CEFC, German Landesbank NORD/LB, German government-owned development bank KfW Ipex and Bouygues Construction Australia Pty Ltd have all backed the development and the construction of the Coleambally Solar Farm.
By Hale Turkes