FRV achieves financial close on 68 MW solar project in Australia

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As it continues to work on its sizable Australian solar portfolio, FRV has announced a financial close on a utility-scale solar farm in New South Wales. The Spanish developer has finalized the financing agreement for the 67.8 MW Goonumbla solar plant with DZ Bank and ING, with the latter providing the lion’s share.

Located about 10 km west of the town of Parkes and 280 km northwest of Sydney, the plant is expected to produce approximately 195,000 MWh of clean energy per year and supply more than 45,000 Australian households. Goonumbla is expected to provide up to 150 jobs in the construction phase and five full-time jobs once fully operational mid 2020.

“The Goonumbla solar plant strengthens the position of FRV as one of the leaders in the renewable energy market in Australia and further reinforces the commitment In the long-term FRV with the country, we are delighted to move to the next phase of this project, which will generate significant benefits for the local economy and support Snowy Hydro in its electricity acquisition strategy,” said Carlo Frigerio, Director of FRV in Australia.

Goonumbla is one of the eight project contracted by Snowy Hydro in a major renewable energy tender last year. The government-owned energy provider contracted a total of 888 MW of wind and solar energy under long term off-take arrangements at less than $70/MWh, which undercut the wholesale price of electricity.

“It has been a pleasure to sign a solar energy purchase agreement with the Goonumbla PV plant, and the Snowy Hydro’s Renewable Energy Acquisition Program has been very well received,” said Paul Broad, CEO of Snowy Hydro. The tender was massively oversubscribed with more than 17,600 MW of projects submitted through the competitive process. “Snowy Hydro selected those projects that offered competitive pricing and had credible pathways to commissioning in the next few years, and enabled Snowy Hydro to construct an optimal portfolio of renewable offtakes,” Broad said.

Apart from the Goonumbla project, FRV has developed and built the 20 MWac Royalla project in the Australian Capital Territory, the 56 MWac Moree array in New South Wales, the 100 Lilyvale project in Victoria and the 100 MWac Clare installation in Queensland. Other solar projects in its Australian portfolio include the 100 MWac Chaff Mill installation in South Australia, the 115 MW Baralaba project in Queensland and the 85 MWac Winton project in Victoria. The Spanish developer has invested over US$700 million ($978 million) since entering the Australian market in 2012.

FRV’s parent Abdul Latif Jameel Energy has stated it is strategically investing US$900 million throughout the world in 2019 to increase its installed capacity to 5.8 GW by 2024.