European renewable energy developer Eco Energy World looks to have passed the half-way mark of its pledge to develop a minimum 1GW of solar projects in Australia by 2019, with the approval of three new grid-connected projects totalling 410MW.
The newly approved Queensland projects, which include EEW’s largest to-date – the 280MW solar farm in Bouldercombe – bring the company’s “ready to build” solar portfolio to a total of 570MW, including its previously secured grid and planning for 160MW.
In October last year, EEW secured planning consent for a its first 140MW solar park near Maryborough, on Queensland’s Fraser Coast, followed by the approval of its proposed 20MW solar park near Chinchilla in the state’s Western Downs region.
As we reported at the time, the projects were believed to be likely to be developed along a “merchant” model, meaning EEW would source revenues from the spot market for electricity and large-scale renewable energy certificates rather than waiting for a power purchase agreement.
In a statement on Tuesday the company said the new solar plants would feed directly into the state grid, but were not limited to supplying Queensland only, with potential also to supply New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
“Queensland has huge potential for solar energy with its high irradiance, good infrastructure and availability of land,” said EEW chairman Svante Kumlin.
“These projects will contribute to Queensland’s target to reach 50% renewable energy generation … (and) increase the utility solar generation by approximately 410 MW and will create new opportunities for the (Bouldercombe, Yarranlea and Broadlea) communities, including adding hundreds of jobs and services,” Kumlin said.
EEW said all of its solar projects were slated to start construction in Q3 2017, and to be connected to the grid from late Q4 2017 to Q2 2018.