Pacific Partnerships, a subsidiary of the Sydney-headquartered construction and engineering firm Cimic Group, has achieved financial close and commenced construction proper on the Glenrowan Solar Farm in northeast Victoria having inked a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state government.
The Glenrowan Solar Farm is one of six large-scale energy generation and storage projects to have won supply contracts under the state’s second renewable energy target auction (VRET2). Together, the projects will deliver 623 MW of new generation and up to 365 MW/600 MWh of new energy storage.
Pacific Partnerships Managing Director Simon Nicholls said the 10-year PPA for the sale of energy from the Glenrowan Solar Farm created the investment certainty required for the company to push ahead with the project which is expected to commence operations in late 2023.
“Securing a long-term VRET2 support agreement with the state of Victoria for clean power from the Glenrowan Solar Farm has been instrumental in giving the certainty needed to secure the connection agreements, regulatory approvals as well as construction and operations contracts to achieve financial close,” he said.
Pacific Partnerships through its energy business, Pacific Partnerships Energy, will develop and manage the Glenrowan Solar Farm with fellow Cimic Group company UGL to oversee construction, operations and maintenance of the asset being developed on a 245-hectare site about two kilometres southwest of Glenrowan, approximately 230 kilometres northeast of Melbourne.
UGL has already begun construction of the project with piling works commencing late last month. It’s expected this work, which involves the installation of approximately 35,000 piles, will take about three months to complete.
Once operational, the Glenrowan Solar Farm is expected to generate more than 260 GWh of clean energy per year, enough to power approximately 45,000 Victorian homes and support the government’s renewable energy ambitions.
Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the power generated from the solar farm will put the state one step closer to reaching its updated target of 100% renewable electricity across government operations by 2025.
“We have real climate action ambition – 95% renewable energy by 2035 and net-zero by 2045. And with construction starting today, this new solar farm will help us get there,” she said.
The Glenrowan Solar Farm is one of six renewable energy projects given the green light under the VRET2 auction which D’Ambrosio said will attract “billions of dollars of investment into regional Victoria.”
The VRET2 scheme is part of the state government’s plan to drive investment in all six renewable energy zones located across Victoria. The Victorian government has estimated the scheme will support the creation of 920 direct jobs and attract $1.48 billion (USD 1.02 billion) in new renewable energy projects in the state, with strong local content requirements resulting in about $1 billion of this being spent in local supply chains during construction.
VRET2 projects will also help meet Victoria’s new renewable energy storage target of at least 2.6 GW of energy storage capacity by 2030.
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