Japanese companies switch on 204 MW of solar in Australia

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From pv magazine Australia

After construction began in June 2021, the 204 MW (DC) Edenvale Solar Park celebrated reaching its rated power output late last week. Japanese oil giant Eneos and trading company Sojitz each own a 50% stake in the Edenvale solar project, which will supply a portion of its energy to Queensland’s Gregory Crinum coking coal mine, owned an operated by Sojitz.

The Edendale Solar Park sits on approximately 428 hectares near Chinchilla, west of Brisbane. The project has deployed roughly 400,000 solar panels and was constructed by Spanish-headquartered Gransolar, which is believed to also hold its operation and maintenance contract.

In the joint Eneos and Sojitz announcement, the pair said that “Edenvale represents the largest solar project in Australia to be undertaken by Japanese companies.”

Back in 2021, when construction on the project began, the partners said Edenvale would sell 70% of its output to “a local electricity retailer at a fixed price” while the remaining 30% would be supplied to Sojitz’ nearby Gregory Crinum coal mine. In the latest release, the numbers are not so definite, with the announcement simply saying “a portion of the energy produced” would go to Gregory Crinum coal mine. Sojitz has had a long involvement with Queensland’s mining industry.

The project marks Eneos’ first solar project in Australia, and earlier this year the company opened a green hydrogen demonstration plant at Bulwer Island in Brisbane. The scale of the project is relatively small, producing just 20 kilograms of green hydrogen a day, but it is part of Eneos’ broader strategy to establish a green hydrogen supply chain in Australia and eventually begin exporting to Japan.

“To establish the supply chain, Eneos continues to gain expertise in renewable energy development in Australia,” the company said, pointing back to Edendale as part of this approach.

Edendale was initially developed by Singapore-based DPI Solar 3, but DPI’s stake was bought by Eneos in 2021 via its joint venture holding company with Sojitz, Sapphire Energy Pty Ltd.

Edendale is connected the transmission grid via Powerlink’s existing Orana substation within the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone.

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