Perth-based Stellata Energy has won approval for a 120MW solar plant near Merredin, in Western Australia’s wheatbelt, adding to the growing queue of large scale renewable projects lining up for construction after a near four-year investment drought.
Stellata has teamed up with UK investment manager Ingenious investment to build the Merredin solar farm, which would be the largest in the state when built.
Construction is due to go ahead in mid 2018, and while finance is in place, the company is still weighing up whether to seek a power purchase agreement of go “merchant” and sell on the market.
“The Merredin Solar Farm will bring clean energy to thousands of homes across the Perth area, as well as the creation of hundreds of jobs in local communities. We look forward to replicating this achievement across our pipeline of solar projects,” director Troy Santen said in a statement.
This is the first move into big solar for Stellata, which specialises in the commercial solar space but says it has a pipeline of large and small solar projects approaching 200MW, almost exclusively in WA.
The state now has a pipeline of more than 1,000MW ready to go, after a four-year investment drought that saw just 2.6MW of large scale renewables added to the grid from 2013 to the end of 2016.
The projects include the 130MW Badgingarra wind farm, to willbuilt alongside the existing 80MW Emu Downs wind farm and the 20MW Emu Downs solar farm; the 300MW Yandin wind project; the Sun Brilliance 110MW solar project near Northam, the 30MW Byford solar project near Perth and the 30MW expansion to the Greenough River solar farm, as well as a 10MW solar plant planned for Northam by Carnegie Clean Energy.
Stellate says its 400 hectare solar farm will produce around 260GWh a year, and will be “battery ready”, and has planning approval for storage.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.