Solar energy is set to advance in New South Wales after the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) announced their $150 million investment in three upcoming solar projects.
The three solar farms in Dubbo, Parkes and Griffith are all being developed by independent power producer, Neoen, and will prove to be very beneficial. Not only will they open up around 250 job opportunities, but the renewable energy produced by the farms will also power 41,500 homes.
Gloria Chan, leader of the CEFC Large-Scale Solar program, explains the notable impact this will have on the Australian energy sector.
“When fully deployed, our large-scale solar program will represent the largest lending commitment to the large-scale solar sector in Australia to date.”
With a total cost of $230 million, CEFC are not the only investors helping to fund these projects. Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have also contributed $16 million in grant funding.
Neoen has entered into Power Purchase Agreements with ENGIE Australia to sell the energy generated from the Parkes and Griffith sites.
Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, Franck Woitiez, noted that this injection of funding is a crucial stepping stone towards reaching their goal of operating 1GW of renewable energy assets in Australia.
Chan explains that this will significantly contribute towards addressing the local demand for energy.
“Our investment in these new projects at Dubbo, Parkes and Griffith will see the rapid delivery of 110MW(AC) of new solar generation capacity in New South Wales, increasing the state’s large-scale solar capacity by more than 50 per cent.”
The rotations available with their single-axis tracking technology is more successful than fixed solar PV in optimising solar exposure. As a result, this will be a more efficient solar solution.
“Through this program we have seen a significant reduction in the cost of solar energy to the point where it is very competitive with other forms of electricity generation.”
However, there is still a way to go before CEFC can meet the Renewable Energy Target, with the Green Energy Markets estimating another 5,600MW is required to achieve reach their targets by 2020.
This marks a continuation of CEFC’s clean energy funding after their $5 million investment into the electricity grid with GreenSync.
With funding from the CEFC predicted to increase throughout 2017, solar energy will make a huge step forward in the upcoming year.