Industrial products manufacturer inks major solar-wind PPA

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Molycop Australia has announced the signing of a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with commercial electricity retailer Flow Power. Under the PPA, Molycop’s expected offtake of renewable energy is 100,000 MWh per year which covers more than half of its electricity consumption in New South Wales (NSW).

The offtake agreement will run until end December 2030 and is backed by agreements with the 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm under construction and the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm in full operation since November 2018, both located in regional NSW. Under the PPA, the manufacturer and supplier of products and services for mining operations and rail transport industries will become one of the largest purchasers of renewable energy in Australia.

“This agreement is an important milestone for Molycop,” said Michael Parker, President Molycop Australasia. “It not only provides strong support to Australia’s pipeline of renewable energy infrastructure projects that will also benefit the wider community, but also enables us to gain greater control over volatile energy costs.

Commenting on the reasons behind its decision to partner with Flow Power, Molycop pointed to the retailer’s offer of both wind and solar offtakes and access to the ARENA Demand Response program, as well as their energy sourcing and forecasting expertise.

“It’s fantastic to see Molycop take the next step on their energy journey,” Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director Flow Power, said. “By combining renewable offtake and demand response, our unique model will future-proof energy needs while supporting the changing energy system.”

Bomen and Sapphire 

The 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm is the first renewable energy asset in the portfolio of network owner Spark InfrastructureThe project was acquired from developer Renew Estate, which is partly owned by German developer Wirsol Energy. It is located close to the Wagga North substation where it will connect into TransGrid’s transmission network. The project includes a 40 MWh battery storage component.

Construction is carried out Melbourne-based Beon Energy Solutions, which is owned by Victoria Power Networks (in which Spark Infrastructure has an ownership interest of 49%). A total cost at completion is expected to amount to approximately $188 million. Commercial operations are slated to commence in Q2 2020.

The project will feature bifacial PV panels supplied by Jinko Solar, inverters from SMA and trackers from Nextracker. It is expected to employ around 250 workers in the construction phase.

The Bomen Solar Farm inked a PPA with Flow Power in December. Under the deal, the retailer contracted 69 MW of the farm’s output to power munchies producer Snack Brands and winemaker Australian Vintage, which previously became the first Australian wine producer to sign a large-scale hybrid renewable corporate PPA.

The second PPA for the Bomen Solar Farm, which was announced on the same day as the project acquisition, was inked with Westpac, as part of its commitment to a 100% renewables target. Westpac became the third major bank to sign up to the to the global initiative RE100 and made major steps towards the goal,with the PPA to purchase over a quarter of the output from the Bomen Solar Farm, under a 10-year contract, covering both the electricity and LGCs.

The 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm is one of the wind projects contracted by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government as part of its 100% renewable energy target. The ACT has supported 100 MW of the project, which contributes around 12% of its target. It started exporting electricity to 48,000 ACT homes last May.   

On top of that, the largest wind farm in New South Wales is helping Commonwealth Bank of Australia move towards 100% renewable power by 2030 under a 12-year PPA as of January this year.

Sapphire became part of ambitious plans for a 470 MW renewable energy hub when Australian developer CWP Renewables received planning approval last year. The massive hybrid is set to feature a 200 MW solar+storage project collocated with the wind farm.

Based on a PPA inked with Flow Power in June, more than 85% of the Sydney Opera House’s yearly energy consumption of 16 GWh (equivalent to 2,500 households) will be matched with renewable energy supply for the next seven years sourced from the same projects -Bomen and Sapphire.