Spain-based solar developer X-Elio has landed its first renewable power purchase agreement in Australia, inking a deal with US software company Salesforce for the output of the 200MW Blue Grass solar farm in Queensland.
X-Elio, which is co-owned by US investment firms Brookfield and KKR, said on Thursday that the “landmark” agreement, which it is calling a virtual PPA, or VPPA, would supply an unspecified amount of generation certificates to meet Salesforce Australia-NZ’s renewable energy requirements.
Blue Grass solar farm, which is currently under construction in Queensland’s Western Downs region, is X-Elio’s first project in Australia, and its largest, and will generate 420GWh a year once completed in late 2021.
The project will also create up to 400 new construction jobs and deliver more than $200 million capital investment in Queensland, X-Elio said.
“With Australia being a key future strategic market for X-Elio, we are extremely excited to announce this landmark agreement with Salesforce,” said X-Elio CEO Lluis Noguera.
“X-Elio is continuously looking to grow its presence in attractive markets like Australia, where our local team will leverage [our] significant capital and global industry expertise … to grow our local presence and realise our ambitions in the market.”
Belinda Fan, X-Elio’s country manager in Australia, said solar was going from strength to strength in Australia.
“This partnership with Salesforce is a significant milestone … furthering our ambitions in Australia’s renewables market,” Fan said.
“In Salesforce, we have found a like-minded partner who shares our community-focused goals and emissions reduction ambitions.
“This VPPA strengthens our position in Australia where we will continue to pursue new growth opportunities to expand our national footprint in the renewables market.
“This includes 400MW of pipeline currently in development, which is growing exponentially each year,” she said.
For Salesforce, the VPPA supports its company-wide objective to reach 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022.
“We are proud to team up with X-Elio on the Blue Grass solar farm, a project which will bring jobs to regional Queensland, support the local community and deliver new renewable energy generation,” said Salesforce Australia and New Zealand CEO, Pip Marlow.
“Salesforce is on a path to 100% renewable energy and we have a plan to get there by 2022. This is an important step on this path and one which we hope inspires other leaders. The climate crisis requires bold action, today,” Marlow said.
As well as the Blue Grass solar farm, X-Elio is also developing the Wunghnu solar farm in Victoria, which is 80MW AC.