North Queensland’s solar credentials are up a notch with another large-scale solar farm reaching a major financial milestone.
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) have reached financial close on the Clare Solar Farm project near Ayr, with Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey noting it would be one of the largest in the country.
Construction is set to begin in early 2017, with the farm expected to be grid-connected and fully operational by early 2018.
“This important milestone means that FRV now has the funding arrangements in place and will proceed with construction of its 100 megawatt solar farm, located 35km from Ayr,” Mr Bailey said.
“This project will create around 200 jobs during construction and upon completion, will generate 100 megawatts of reliable and secure renewable energy for North Queensland.
“Reaching financial close follows the Clare Solar Farm’s previous milestones of its agreement with State Government-owned Powerlink to connect through the Clare South substation, as well as Origin’s commitment to purchasing all generated energy from the solar farm for 13 years.”
Powerlink chief executive Merryn York said the transmission network would play a key role in delivering a lower carbon future.
“Powerlink’s transmission network not only has the important responsibility of providing electricity to almost four million Queenslanders, but it will also facilitate the growth of renewable energy in this state,” Ms York said.
“Powerlink has Australia’s most experienced transmission network connection team, having delivered more network connections on a commercial basis than any other transmission company in Australia.
“We look forward to using this experience in connecting the Clare Solar Farm to our network.”
Commitments from energy providers such as this, combined with government support, put Queensland on the front foot for more investment in the energy industry, Mr Bailey said.
“Only last week we also announced the innovative Kidston Solar Farm reaching financial close also in North Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“These projects provide testimony to the investor confidence in Queensland’s renewable energy credentials.
“I congratulate FRV for reaching this important stage – yet another step towards reaching the Palaszczuk Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.
“Queensland is on a renewables roll and we’re well on our way in transitioning Queensland from the sunshine state into the solar state.”