Western Australian large-scale solar start-up Stellata Energy has joined forces with UK based renewables investment specialist, Ingenious, to build what they say is a $200 million pipeline of solar farms across Australia, starting with a flagship 120MW ground-mounted project in their home state.
The companies said in a join announcement on Tuesday that they were seeking approval to build a 120MW ground-mounted solar plant in the regional town of Merredin, roughly half way between Perth and Kalgoorlie.
The partnership signals the arrival of yet another European investor into the Australian market, in the rush to meet the remainder of the 2020 renewable energy target as technology costs continue to fall.
Stellata, which has been around for roughly one year, says it is well placed to deliver large-scale solar in Western Australia, with an executive team with extensive previous experience developing more than 600MW of ground-mounted and rooftop solar across Europe.
Ingenious, meanwhile, has raised and deployed more than £9 billion, including £500 million in renewables projects across the UK and Ireland, the companies said.
Western Australia, having laid claim to the nation’s first large-scale solar plant in 2012, has added little to no new big solar capacity since then, although it has several new projects at various stages of the development pipeline, including a 10MW solar plant planned for Northam by Carnegie Clean Energy, the 30MW Byford solar project near Perth, and the 30MW expansion of Australia’s first solar farm – the 10MW Greenough River.
“As a West Australian company, we are very excited to be partnering with Ingenious in our quest to bring utility scale solar power to our state,” said Stellate director Troy Santen.
“Our collaboration will drive forward the development of solar PV projects, as well as the creation of jobs in local communities.”
Ingenious infrastructure managing director, Sebastian Speight, said the two companies had worked together successfully before, and were keen to join forces in the Australian market.
“Australia has huge potential to benefit from solar energy, due to its geographical positioning and high levels of irradiation, and we are confident that Stellata can fully capture the rewards this technology can offer,” Speight said.