Amp powers ahead with 85 MW Hillston Solar Farm


Melbourne-based Amp Australia has executed a project finance agreement with French multinational Natixis and Canadian government-owned credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC) which will enable it to deliver the Hillston Solar Farm being constructed in the Riverina region of south-western NSW.

”Amp is pleased to begin a strategic relationship with Natixis for future financing of Amp projects in Australia and globally, and acknowledge the continued support of EDC,” Amp Australia executive vice president Dean Cooper said.

Cooper said construction of the project, purchased from Australian solar developer Overland Sun Farming in 2020, has already commenced under an early works program and the solar farm is expected to be connected to the grid in early 2022.

When the solar farm begins production, it will generate approximately 235,000 GWh of clean energy per year, the equivalent annual power consumption of approximately 48,000 households.

Deemed a state significant development by the NSW government, Hillston Solar Farm will comprise approximately 300,000 solar panels mounted on single axis‐tracker frames. The solar farm will connect to the National Electricity Market (NEM) via Essential Energy’s 132/33 kV Hillston sub-station which is adjacent to the 393-hectare project site just south of Hillston.

Spanish EPC Gransolar Group has been signed to build the solar farm and provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services on the project for at least two years.

Gransolar Australia managing director Carlos Lopez said the contract is the company’s eighth project in Australia and the second it has completed for Amp, after delivering the 30 MW Molong Solar Farm in central west NSW earlier this year.

“2021 has been one of our best years,” Lopez said. “If we consider the current global situation, having signed three new contracts, reaching eight and 870 MW in a country as committed and supportive in solar as Australia, is a sign and a reflection of the value of the Gransolar brand.”

The Molong Solar Farm came online earlier his year.

Image: GRS

The Hillston project continues Amp’s expansion into Australia after the successful energisation earlier this year of its Molong Solar Farm.

The Canada-based renewable energy infrastructure manager, developer, and owner has also revealed plans to build a flagship 1.3 GW Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia. The $2 billion hub is to include large-scale solar projects at Robertstown, Bungama and Yoorndoo Ilga totalling up to 1.36 GWdc of generation supported by a total battery energy storage capacity of 540 MW.

Amp recently announced it had secured a lease agreement with Indigenous landowners in Whyalla to develop the 388 MWdc Yoorndoo Ilga Solar Farm and 150 MW battery while the company has already secured development and land approvals for both the Robertstown and Bungama projects.

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