Neoen, an independent producer of renewable energy in France, has commenced commercial operation at its Coleambally Solar Farm located in the Riverina region of New South Wales (NSW), Australia.
Commissioned and connected by Neoen to TransGrid’s high-voltage transmission network, the 550-hectare Coleambally Solar Farm is supported by a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with energy retailer EnergyAustralia.
Under the agreement, EnergyAustralia will consume 70% of the solar farm’s energy output and the remainder will be sold directly to the market.
With 567,800 solar PV panels, the Coleambally is the largest fully operational photovoltaic (PV) facility in Australia, producing more than 390,000MWh of clean, emission-free, renewable energy per annum, enough to power more than 65,000 households in New South Wales, equivalent to taking 90,000 cars off the road.
With the support of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), TransGrid and other stakeholders, Neoen brings more sustainable, reliable and competitive energy to Australians and regional economies.
Around 400 jobs have been created for the Riverina area during the construction of the Coleambally Solar Farm. The solar farm will provide a number of permanent and contracting or temporary employment opportunities during its service life of beyond 30 years.
Neoen Australia managing director Franck Woitiez said: “Coleambally Solar Farm is an example of the projects that will underpin a modern energy system in Australia.
“Through the course of its development, we have received enthusiastic response at the regional and state level.
“As a long-term investor in Australia’s renewable energy future, we are proud of this achievement and would like to offer our sincere thanks to the Riverina community for allowing us to realise the full potential of this landmark project.
“Neoen will continue to work with our partners, and particularly the local communities, councils and state government to ensure that the people of New South Wales enjoy clean, efficient and affordable electricity for decades to come.”
Site preparations for the project began in January 2018, and full construction and connection have been completed between March and September 2018.
Clean energy financier CEFC, German Landesbank NORD/LB, German government owned development bank KfW Ipex, and Bouygues Construction Australia have backed the development and the construction of the Coleambally Solar Farm.