UK company Lightsource bp, an equal joint venture between Lightsource and oil giant bp, today announced early construction work has already began on its Wellington North solar farm and Wunghnu solar and storage project. The company says it will reach financial close on both projects before the year is out and expects completion by 2024.
The announcement makes Lightsource bp Australia’s largest solar developer and owner based on the total megawatts of solar generation capacity to have reached construction as of August 2022.
The company said early work arrangements with engineering, procurement, and construction contractor Gransolar has led to construction commencing on the 400 MW (DC) Wellington North, in mid New South Wales near Dubbo, as well as the 90 MW (DC) Wunghnu solar and battery project in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley.
For the projects, Lightsource has recently entered into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Engie, Orica and Mars Australia.
Lightsource bp now has five projects in operation and under construction across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, totalling over 1 GWp of generating capacity.
Its 107 MW (DC) West Wyalong project in the mid-south of NSW, and 214 MWp Woolooga Solar Farm in Queensland’s north coast are “in advanced stages of construction” and due for completion by the end of the year, the company said. Lightsource bp’s 200 MWp Wellington Solar Farm in NSW is already operational.
Lightsource bp’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Adam Pegg says the company has more large scale solar projects “to come” in Australia.
“In addition to our solar ambitions, we are actively exploring other investment opportunities in the sector, and believe the hybridisation of renewables to complement solar – including battery storage, co-location of wind and integration with green hydrogen production – will be increasingly important to the future energy mix and in driving the energy transition,” Pegg added.
On top of the 1 GWp of Australian projects the company has under construction, it said a further 3 GWp are planned for Australia and New Zealand. “We see the acceleration of renewables happening more rapidly than previously anticipated, and expect our operations in Australia to make a significant contribution to meeting Lightsource bp’s global target of 25GW of solar by 2025,” Pegg said.
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