Two new big solar farms to begin construction in NSW
New South Wales looks set to add more than 460MW of new large-scale solar capacity, with German-based developer Belectric confirming it was ready to start construction works on the first of two new solar plants “in the upcoming weeks.”
Belectric secured the contract early this year to develop the 347MW Limondale solar farm at Balranald, and the 115MW Hillston solar farm, both owned by fellow Germany renewables company, Innogy.
Innogy bought the two undeveloped solar projects from local developer Overland Sun Farming in February, marking the company’s first move into the burgeoning Australian market.
At the time, Innogy flagged its intention to start building the two projects in 2018, at a total cost of around $620 million, and said it was on the lookout for more solar, wind and storage opportunities in the Australian market.
Innogy is 75 per cent owned by Germany’s RWE, one of Europe’s biggest energy utilities, and boasts annual revenues of more than $A70 billion.
The company’s “old assets” such as coal and nuclear generation were left behind in RWE, while Innogy holds the so-called “future” energy businesses – renewables, network and retail businesses – that will focus on a “modern, decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world.”
“Australia is an excellent starting point for Innogy to grow a valuable solar business,” Innogy COO Hans Bünting said in February.
Belectric is similarly bullish about the Australian market.
“For us as EPC provider with close to 2GW of executed projects all over the world, Australia is a promising market to further strengthen our global leading position,” said Martin Zembsch, managing director of BELECTRIC Solar & Battery, in comments on Thursday.
“Large-scale solar has gone from an emerging technology at the beginning of the decade to a genuinely game-changing form of electricity generation in Australia: High solar irradiation and rapidly falling costs have enabled a large number of new projects.”
Already, Belectric’s Australian offshoot has a number of solar projects under its belt, including the 4.77MW Chillamurra solar plant at Goondiwindi Queensland, the 10.8MW facility at Barcaldine Queensland and the 3.3MW solar project at Dareton NSW.