FRV has invested over US$700 million ($978 million) since entering the Australian market in 2012. It has already developed six solar projects in the country. The 100 MW Lilyvale Solar Farm is the fourth big installation that the company has connected to the Australian grid, putting its cumulative operational solar capacity at 276 MW.
The project started dispatching electricity to to the grid in March and is expected to reach full capacity in the coming months, following the successful completion of the testing phase. It will eventually generate enough power to supply 45,000 homes per year.
Lilyvale is FRV’s second large-scale solar installation in Queensland. The developer inked a PPA with state-owned Ergon Energy for the plant in January 2017. The project was financed by a consortium of banks, including the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
Apart from the Lilyvale project, FRV has developed and built the 20 MWac Royalla project in the Australian Capital Territory, the 56 MWac Moree array in New South Wales, and the 100 MWac Clare installation in Queensland. Other solar projects in its Australian portfolio include the 100 MWac Chaff Mill installation in South Australia, the 115 MW Baralaba project in Queensland, the 67.8 MWac Goonumbla array in New South Wales and the 85 MWac Winton project in Victoria.
“Australia continues to be a key market worldwide for renewable energy investments,” said Carlo Frigerio, managing director of FRV Australia. “With projects like Lilyvale, FRV is delighted to participate in the country’s ongoing energy transformation and transition to sustainability and care for the environment.”
Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, FRV’s parent company, said that the group plans to expand in Australia and other global markets.
“Australia is a strong and promising market for FRV and Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, and we see significant potential to expand investment in the years ahead and spearhead the development of the sector in the country and further afield,” said Fady M. Jameel, deputy president and vice chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, which is based in the United Arab Emirates.
The latest announcement flies in the face of recent reports in the Spanish press that the group has been looking to offload FRV, which it acquired just four years ago.
“Abdul Latif Jameel Energy has committed to significantly expanding FRV’s international operations, with plans to invest US$ 900 million in 2019, alone, and the longer term goal of increasing the total installed capacity of our projects around the world over eight-fold in the next five years, from 0.7 GW at the beginning of 2019 to 5.8 GW by 2024,” Jameel said.
FRV closed 2017 with a profit of $9.74 million and turnover of $52.44 million, after registering losses of $29.12 million in in the previous year, according to the most-recent financial figures from the Spanish Commercial Registry.