MPower starts building after purchase of 5 MW Narromine project completed

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Sydney-based MPower announced it has successfully completed the purchase of all the project rights, including connection agreement and key planning approvals for the 5 MW Narromine Solar Farm being developed near Dubbo in western New South Wales (NSW).

MPower, which agreed to acquire the designated site in mid-2021, said it paid approximately $1.4 million (USD 910,000) for the project rights and the acquisition of inverter equipment which has been pre-ordered as part of the project development plans.

MPower Chief Executive Officer Nathan Wise said with all necessary permits secured and funding in place, the company will now immediately commence construction at the Narromine site.

“We are pleased to confirm completion of the purchase agreement and get started on the next phase of development,” he said.

Construction of the project, which will comprise more than 12,000 bifacial PV modules, is expected to be completed within 12 months. MPower said the project will connect into the Essential Energy network, generating approximately 14,000 MWh of electricity in its first year of operations.

The Narromine project forms part of MPower’s broader strategy to establish a build, own and operate portfolio of up to 20 sub-5 MW solar farms across Australia.

Wise has previously said the company’s focus is on projects of 5 MW or less as they can avoid some of the more protracted grid connection processes the utility-scale segment is prone to.

“We couldn’t get comfortable with some of the risks around large-scale renewable energy projects, in particular the grid and connection risks that are really part and parcel of those larger projects,” he said.

“We identified the advantages of these small utility-scale projects, in particular the relatively short time it takes to both develop and construct them, but also the ease of connection and the ability to export power as and when you generate rather than being under the direct control of the market operator.”

The finalisation of the Narromine purchase follows MPower’s recent acquisitions of the operational Lakeland solar and storage project in north Queensland, which features a 10.8 MW solar farm and a 1.4 MW/5.3 MWh battery energy storage system, and a shovel ready project at Faraday in Victoria.

“This acquisition builds of the key operational milestones that MPower has already achieved in the year to-date, including the procurement of an unconditional $10 million funding facility and the material value accretive measures carried out across its existing asset portfolio,” Wise said.

“We look forward to bringing our latest clean energy project to the domestic power grid and further expanding our project development suite in the months and years ahead.”

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