An 80MW solar farm has been proposed for development in the New South Wales regional city of Tamworth, by newly formed local PV developer, Oriens Energy.
Oriens said on Tuesday that the project, which was in the early stages of approval, was planned for development on a site strategically placed within the NSW and Queensland transmission networks.
And while the company is new, its founders have decades of solar industry experience between them, and claim to have a number of other large-scale projects in the pipeline, across various states of Australia.
“We’ve got the land (for Tamworth), and we’re in the early stages of approval and grid connection inquiries,” Oriens director and co-founder Christian Bindel told RenewEconomy on Tuesday.
“We’ve had a meeting with council representatives, and the project was very well received. The local government is very keen to leverage local labour opportunities and to add renewable energy to the local (electricity) network.
Bindel, who has worked in utility-scale solar development since 1999, both in Europe and in Australia, said the company’s work with the landowner had also been very positive, and that they were very excited to be involved.
On the financial side, Bindel said that Oriens was open to both power purchase agreements and the merchant model for the Tamworth Solar Farm, which he said would add much welcomed security of electricity supply in Australia’s fast-changing energy landscape.
“Globally, there’s a very strong (large-scale solar) focus on Australia right now,” Bindel told RE. “There’s a huge opportunity in the whole restructuring of the energy market, and with the fossil fuel generation retiring.”
Oriens co-founder and director, Victor Bocioc – who, like Bindel, came to Australia in 2007 and has since worked with both First Solar and Origin Energy – said the company was working closely with a range of investment partners, including some new entrants into the Australian market.
“Combining international financial experience with Oriens’ local knowledge of the energy market means that the Tamworth Solar Farm will deliver real benefits to Australian consumers and businesses,” Bocioc said.