Lightsource BP, BP’s solar development venture, has struck a 10 year deal with the federal government-owned Snowy Hydro. The deal will enable the construction of Lightsource BP’s West Wyalong solar farm, which will go on to provide renewable energy to its service stations.
While the West Wyalong solar farm has not yet reached financial close, Lightsource BP said in a statement released Tuesday that it had secured a contract with an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company. It expects construction on the 280 hectare site to begin in the first half of 2021.
The power purchasing agreement (PPA) will see Snowy Hydro purchase two-thirds of the 238 GWh generated annually from West Wyalong solar farm for a 15 year period. Snowy Hydro, through its Red Energy retail arm, will then go on to provide 23 GWh of that green energy annually to BP’s service stations for 10 years, meeting the power requirements of all its service stations throughout NSW. The transition of all 88 petrol stations is expected to be complete by January 2023.
Lightsource BP’s country manager, Adam Pegg, said the company was able to finalise the PPA by leveraging its existing relationship with Snowy Hydro, which it has experience working with on a separate solar farm in Wellington.
Frédéric Baudry, president of BP Australia, said the move is in line with the oil giant’s target of net zero by 2050. In 2017, BP acquired part of the large-scale solar developer Lightsource, which was then rebranded to Lightsource BP. BP increased its stake in the company to 50/50 in 2019, with Lightsource BP becoming a major solar developer worldwide.
Last year, BP also began investigating the feasibility of a renewable hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Western Australia, awarded $1.7 million to do so from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
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