FRV lands finance for Goonumbla solar farm, to deliver cheap power to Snowy

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FRV lands finance for Goonumbla solar farm, as first of “landmark” pricing solar projects from Snowy Hydro tender gets under way.

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International renewable energy company FRV says it has secured finance for the Goonumbla solar farm in New South Wales, one of eight wind and solar projects that formed part of the landmark deal for cheap and “firmed” renewables for government-owned retailer Snowy Hydro.
FRV, now part of the Saudi-based corporation Abdul Latif Jameel, says it expects to begin production from the 67.8MW (AC) solar farm, located about 10kms west of Parkes, in 2020, and which will have an anticipated capacity factor of around 33 per cent.
Finance has been sourced from international banks ING and ZD bank. It is FRV’s sixth solar project in Australia, taking total investment to around $1 billion since the first utility-scale solar farm in the nation’s main grid, the 20MW Royalla facility near Canberra, began in 2012.
Other projects include Clare (100 MWac) and Lilyvale (100MW ac) in Queensland, Moree (56 MW AC) and Winton (85 MW ac) in Victoria.

FRV was one of eight parties that won 15-year power purchase contracts for 888MW of capacity from Snowy Hydro, which said it would deliver – with the help of its existing hydro plants – “firm” renewables at a cost of well below $70/MWh, much cheaper than current coal baseload power.

Snowy CEO Paul Broad said the tender was massively over-subscribed, with some 17.6GW of capacity submitted to the process.

“Snowy Hydro selected those projects that offered competitive pricing and had credible pathways to commissioning in the next few years and enabled Snowy Hydro to construct an optimal portfolio of renewable offtakes,” he said in a statement on Friday.

The other solar projects include Total Eren’s Kiamal 2 solar project in Victoria, Clenergy’s Clenergy’s 115MW Metz solar farm, and an unidentified project – thought to be either West Wyalong or Wellington, to be developed by Lightsource BP.

“We are delighted to move forward to the next phase of this project which will create significant benefit to the local economy and support Snowy Hydro in their electricity procurement strategy,” Carlo Frigerio, the head of FRV in Australia, said in a statement.

Fady Jameel, the vice chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, said the company plans more investment in Australia in coming years.

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