Zen Energy boosts PPA portfolio with Wagga Wagga Solar Farm deal

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South Australia-headquartered renewable energy gen-tailer Zen Energy has signed a contract with Mytilineos which will deliver it 80% of the electricity and large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) generated by the 18.7 MW Wagga Wagga South Solar Farm being developed in southern New South Wales (NSW).

The plant, which is being built next to the existing 30 MW Wagga Wagga Solar Farm and will share common connection infrastructure, is now in commissioning phase and is expected to enter commercial operation later this year.

Zen Energy Executive General Manager of Future Energy Mark Sinclair said the new power purchase agreement (PPA) is just the latest for the company as it looks to accelerate the development of its renewable energy portfolio.

“We actively seek to work with innovative partners with a laser focus on delivering renewable projects as fast as we can,” he said. “Bringing on a series of mid-range assets enables us to support the regional aspirations of our customers. It means they can access offtakes where they are located, like regional distribution centres. We are continuing to focus on creating agreements with progressive companies like Mytilineos, taking on PPAs across regional Australia.”

Zen has offtake agreements in place with more than 20 solar and wind farms, including the 132 MW Nevertire, the 56 MW Moree and the 120 MW Hillston solar farm in New South Wales, the 100 MW Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australian and the 85 MW Tailem Bend 2 Solar Farm in South Australia.

The company has also unveiled plans to develop its first utility-scale battery energy storage system after acquiring the 111 MW/270 MWh Templers Battery project near Gawler in South Australia.

Zen said the project has already received approval to connect to the grid and expects to reach financial close in the coming months with construction planned to commence shortly after. The battery is expected to be operational before the end of 2024.

Zen is also pursuing plans to develop a large-scale hybrid solar and battery project in SA’s mid-north. The Solar River project, predicated to comprise more than 200 MW of solar generation and at least 300 MWh of energy storage capacity, has been issued a development approval and the company is now working through the final stages of a grid connection application process. Zen said construction is expected to commence later this year and renewable energy from the project will be delivered to the national grid in 2024.

For Mytilineos, the new deal is the latest in a series of long-term PPA it has signed for the output of its Australian assets.

More than half of the output of its 110 MW Moura Solar Farm in Queensland has been allocated through a long-term PPA with government-owned generator CS Energy while Smartest Energy, an electricity retailer owned by Japanese investment company Marubeni, has an offtake agreement in place for power produced at the 53 MWp Kingaroy Solar Farm, also in Queensland. Publicly owned telecommunications company NBN Co has inked a deal to acquire about half of the output from the 75 MW Wyalong Solar Farm in NSW.

Mytilineos has financed and built five solar farms across NSW and Queensland since entering the Australian market in 2019 and has two more under construction.

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