ACEN to build 400 MW solar farm in Australia


From pv magazine Australia

Renewables developer ACEN Australia has agreed to invest in the AUD 800 million ($513 million) Stubbo solar project, allowing the 400 MW installation in the Australian state of New South Wales to fully proceed. It includes provisions for a 200 MW/200 MWh battery energy storage system.

The final investment decision comes after ACEN signed a connection agreement with infrastructure service provider Lumea. It also follows the execution of a PV module supply contract, mere weeks after the parent company committed AUD 800 million for the construction of the project.

“ACEN Australia is pleased to kick off the construction of the Stubbo solar farm,” said ACEN Australia CEO Anton Rohner. “Again we have been able to close and commit to a project on a merchant basis and, in the case of Stubbo, do this on our balance sheet.”

This plant will be ACEN Australia’s second 400 MW solar farm, after the New England Solar Farm, which is currently being commissioned. The 400 MW solar project is located within the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in the Mid-Western Regional Council region and will connect to the existing 330 kV network.

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Rohner said the finalization of the connection agreement with Lumea, the commercial arm of transmission network operator TransGrid, was a major step in moving to the committed stage.

“It was good to work with Lumea to achieve this major milestone and confirm the connection of Stubbo Solar to the 330 kV Transgrid network,” he said. “The ability to get the connection agreement done illustrates the value of ACEN Australia’s strategy of connecting into secure and robust parts of the Transgrid network.”

Lumea Chief Executive Richard Lowe described the Stubbo solar project as a “vital” part of the state’s energy transition. “This is an important milestone in the transition to a cleaner grid and delivering cheaper energy for consumers into the future,” he said.

Construction of the Stubbo Solar Farm proper is set to commence before the end of the year. It is expected that the project will generate up to 400 jobs during construction.

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