Octopus Investments, a UK-based investor in onshore renewables, and Australian renewable energy company Edify Energy have arranged more than $450m to finance solar power station at Darlington Point near Griffith in New South Wales.
The proposed Darlington Point Solar Farm (DPSF) site is located approximately 10km south of the town of Darlington Point near Griffith. Construction of the 333MW DC (275MW AC) solar farm is expected to start shortly at the site.
Once operational, the plant is expected to generate 685,000MWh of renewable energy per annum, which is enough to power approximately 115,000 homes. The solar farm is expected to start power generation by early 2020.
Approximately 55% of power generated from the plant will be sold to Delta Electricity under a long-term power purchase agreement.
“Edify Energy developed and structured the Darlington Point Solar Farm and are retaining an equity stake in the project. Edify will work with Octopus through construction and will undertake the long-term asset management service for the solar farm through operations,” Edify Energy said in a statement.
The project is expected to create approximately 400 direct onsite jobs and other opportunities for surrounding communities.
Octopus Investments managing director Sam Reynolds said: “Octopus has considerable international experience in onshore renewables investment and management and we’re applying that expertise to bring high quality projects like Darlington Point Solar Farm online in Australia.
“Projects need to stack up economically, not just environmentally, for our investors. Darlington Point ticked the right boxes for us – there’s excellent solar resources in the region, plus it’s right next door to a major existing transmission substation and the site has development approval to accommodate batteries in the future.”
Signal Energy Australia in a joint-venture with Canadian Solar has secured the EPC contract for the project. Canadian Solar will provide operations and maintenance services for the project.
Edify Energy CEO John Cole said: “We are excited to add the largest solar farm in Australia to our portfolio of developed, financed and operational projects. Delivering a portfolio of energy and battery storage projects that will power over 280,000 Australian homes is something we are proud of.
“Projects such as the Darlington Point Solar Farm demonstrate the expanding momentum of renewable energy projects and the vital role they have to play in Australia. We look forward to working with other consumers of green electricity with respect to contracting the balance of the solar farm.”
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia along with Westpac provides debt to the solar project.