Risen Energy Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of China-based Risen Energy, confirmed it has lodged a development application with Wagga Wagga City Council detailing plans for an $8 million solar PV farm to be built on the outskirts of the regional centre.
A company spokesperson told pv magazine on Monday the project is part of Risen Energy’s strategy to expand its Australian portfolio with small-scale utility solar, particularly those projects around the 5 MW mark, able to avoid much of the electricity network’s congestion woes.
“Small-scale utility projects are one of the business portfolios we are focusing on and our strategy in Australia is to develop utility-scale renewable energy projects in both large-scale and small-scale,” the spokesperson said.
“Small-scale utility projects often require less land, less construction time, less capital investment and are simpler during the approval process but nonetheless bring valuable job opportunities to local communities.”
The proposed North Wagga Wagga solar farm will be built on a 17-hectare site within a larger 34ha property approximately 3.5 kilometres from the Wagga Wagga town centre. The facility will have a capacity of up to 5 MW, subject to final grid connection and design.
Work on the project is scheduled to commence midway through 2022 with construction expected to take about 12 months.
Risen, which owns the 103 MW Yarranlea Solar Farm in Queensland and the 100 MW Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia, said the North Wagga Wagga project is separate to a deal it recently struck with South Australia-based developer Green Gold Energy (GGE) to jointly develop and construct a string of solar projects in Australia.
That project will see the two entities develop 16 solar PV projects of approximately 4.95 MW each within the next 24 months. The total project capacity will be 80 MW with most of the facilities to be developed in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Risen said six of the projects have already reached settlement phase but the Wagga Wagga solar farm is not among them.
“The proposed North Wagga Wagga Solar Farm is one of Risen’s self-developed projects which started from scratch,” the Risen spokesperson said, adding the company is seeking to add more assets to its portfolio.
“Risen is working to develop 5 MW projects and large-scale projects across Australia. Further announcements will be made in due course.”
Risen, which only last month announced it would construct a $13.35 billion mega production facility in Malaysia to supports its ambitions in the region, said the projects were an important part of the company’s strategy in Australia, with plans to invest in renewable energy projects with an accumulated capacity in excess of 2 GW.
“We are steadily growing our solar projects and solar module supply businesses in Australia, and we see a bright future ahead as Australia continues to expand its renewable energy market,” Risen Australia vice general manager John Zhong said.
“Risen Energy has a long-term plan to be a major independent renewable power producer within Australia.”
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