Construction of the 69.75 MW ac Goonumbla Solar Farm located 10 kilometres west of Parkes is now complete.
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and a leading global developer of renewable utility-scale projects, made the exciting announcement last week.
With the plant now connected to the national grid, it will produce about 195,000 MWh of clean energy per year, enough to supply more than 45,000 Australian homes and avoid the emission of 140,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Its construction created 250 jobs in the area, seven of which are remaining now that the plant is operational.
FRV signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the project with Snowy Hydro in late 2018 and secured financing for the project a year ago, the debt provided by ING and DZ Bank with ING taking the majority stake in the financing package.
The solar farm was granted consent on December 5, 2016. In March 2019 engineering works began, with 94.5 per cent of it complete by August last year and construction underway.
"We are glad to successfully deliver this project which is our first PPA with Snowy Hydro," Managing Director of FRV in Australia, Carlo Frigerio said during last week's announcement.
Snowy Hydro's CEO Paul Broad is delighted with the news.
"As part of the ongoing commitment of Snowy Hydro to supporting the growth of renewables in Australia, we have contracted over 1000MW of clean, green energy projects - Goonumbla being one of those transactions," he said.
Goonumbla Solar Farm falls within the boundary of the Parkes Special Activation Precinct - a 4800 hectare purposely-zoned area to create jobs, attract businesses and investors, and fuel economic development in Regional NSW.
The NSW Government received 34 submissions prior to the release of the precinct's final master plan on June 12, one of which came from FRV on behalf of Goonumbla Solar Farm.
The submission objected plans for a new northern link road, connecting Brolgan Road to the Henry Parkes Way, through the project site.
FRV said in its submission the road proposal was not raised by the government and the "exhibition documents [failed] to appreciate the advanced stage of the project". It was also going to have a significant cost impact on the solar farm.
But since the release of the revised master plan, the northern link road has been removed and a new road mapped around the solar sub-precinct, marked for investigation.
Goonumbla is the second project of FRV in NSW, after the Moree Solar Farm.
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