Roughly 560,000 solar panels will be installed on a 550-hectare plot of land near the town of Coleambally. Construction will begin in the state’s Riverina region by the end of this year, Neoen said in an online statement. It did not reveal the PV module supplier.
The French renewables developer described its agreement with EnergyAustralia as an important step towards the Australian government’s 2020 renewable energy targets. EnergyAustralia — a Melbourne-based energy retailer — serves residential and commercial customers in the states of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. It also sources renewable electricity in Queensland, where it recently signed a major PPA for the 142 MW Ross River solar plant.
The Coleambally solar array will eventually be scaled up to 150 MW, Neoen said. The project is now undergoing an environmental assessment, and grid-connection studies have already started. Construction will create about 300 jobs. The facility will generate enough electricity for 50,000 homes once it is completed, at which point it will be managed by an operations staff of seven people. Total annual generation is expected to reach 380,000 MWh.
In July, Paris-based Neoen signed a deal with Tesla to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery at a wind farm in South Australia. The battery, which will provide 129 MWh of energy storage, is being paired with the 315 MW Hornsdale wind farm, near the town of Jamestown. The South Australia government is backing development of the project under its A$550 million ($437.3 million) energy plan.