A slew of announcements have essentially given the go-ahead for the 275 megawatt (MW) Darlington Point Solar Farm in Australia’s New South Wales with financial close, building contract, solar supply contract, and Power Purchase Agreement all being announced within days of one another.
On Monday, Europe’s most experienced solar investor Octopus Investments and leading Australian renewable energy company Edify Energy reached financial close on the AU$450 million Darlington Point Solar Farm which, upon completion, is expected to be the country’s largest solar power station — at least for a while. Developed and structured by Edify Energy, the company will retain an equity stake in the 275 MW project.
Construction of the Darlington Point Solar Farm is expected to begin in March and, once operational sometime in early 2020, will displace over 600,000 tons of CO2 and generate 685,000 MW-hours (MWh) of clean electricity each year — the equivalent necessary to power around 115,000 homes. The project is expected to create nearly 400 direct on-site peak jobs and other opportunities for the surrounding communities.
Edify Energy, Chief Executive, John Cole said “we are excited to add the largest solar farm in Australia to our portfolio of developed, financed and operational projects. Delivering a portfolio of energy and battery storage projects that will power over 280,000 Australian homes is something we are proud of. Edify continues to look for opportunities to expand the capacity of renewable energy in Australia’s energy market and this project is a great step forward for the provision of clean green electricity for Australian energy consumers.”
It was also announced that a long-term Power Purchase Agreement had been signed with Australian electricity generation company Delta Electricity at a price of approximately 55% of the output of the project. No further details were provided.
“Projects such as the Darlington Point Solar Farm demonstrate the expanding momentum of renewable energy projects and the vital role they have to play in Australia,” added John Cole. “The PPA with Delta Electricity evidences solar working together with coal in NSW and the growing place of renewable energy in the Australian electricity market. We look forward to working with other consumers of green electricity with respect to contracting the balance of the solar farm.”
Two days later it was announced that Signal Energy, a leading general contractor for the renewable energy industry, would build the project in partnership with global leading solar manufacturer Canadian Solar. The two companies will provide Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) for the project which will be built on approximately 2,000 acres near Darlington Point, in New South Wales.
The project will consist of over 820,000 Canadian Solar HiKu modules (CS3W-P) averaging over 400 W per module which will be installed on single-axis solar tracking systems.
“We are extremely pleased that Edify Energy and Octopus Investments selected us to construct the Darlington Point project,” said Greg Pawson, President of Signal Energy, “Edify’s track record of success in Australia, collaboration, and focus on quality makes them an ideal customer to work with. Octopus brings a wealth of solar investment experience from Europe and we look forward to building our relationship with them.”
“We are delighted to be selected by Edify Energy and Octopus Investments to provide EPC services together with Signal Energy and to supply our high efficiency and industry-leading 1500V and 400W multi-crystalline solar modules to this large-scale solar power plant,” added Dr Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “Our work with Darlington Point Solar Farm further demonstrates our strengths as a system solution provider with global experience. We are committed to working closely with local Australian communities in creating new jobs and to provide customers in Australia with affordable and reliable solar energy.”