Australia’s first large-scale solar and storage plant up for sale


Australian renewable energy developer and operator MPower has commenced a process to sell the Lakeland solar and storage facility, that comprises 10.8 MW of PV and a 1.4 MW / 5.3 MWh battery energy storage system near Cooktown in Queensland’s far north.

Described as Australia’s first large scale solar-plus-storage array when it commenced operations in 2017, the project has a long-term power purchase agreement in place with Origin Energy for 100% of its output under a fixed price arrangement that MPower said escalates in line with CPI.

Sydney-headquartered MPower, which acquired the Lakeland facility in 2022 in a deal valued at $8 million, said it plans to recycle the capital to support the future expansion of its portfolio of solar PV and battery storage projects.

MPower Chief Executive Officer Nathan Wise said the sale is part of the next phase of the company’s journey as it looks to drive value for its shareholders.

“The continued refinement of our portfolio of assets at the development, construction and operational stages is important against the backdrop of a dynamic industry and the challenges inherent in Australia’s energy transition,” he said.

MPower is aiming to establish a portfolio of at least 30 solar and battery projects across Australia’s eastern states, with a particular focus on sub-5 MW projects connected to the National Electricity Market.

The company said it is has established a pipeline of project opportunities across the eastern states. This includes a combination of projects that are both self-developed and being developed in conjunction with the company’s development partners.

Included among the projects is the 5 MW Narromine Solar Farm being built near Dubbo in western New South Wales.

MPower said piling works have commenced and preparations for the electrical connection to the Essential Energy network are underway with construction scheduled for completion later this year.

The company is also progressing the 5 MW Faraday solar project in central Victoria, noting that it has accelerated plans to add a battery storage facility at the site.

MPower said it has planning approval for a battery storage facility but is aiming to fast track the battery component to take advantage of the benefits that energy storage offers.

“The plan to bring forward the battery storage augmentation reflects the growing value that battery storage adds to renewable energy projects, including the ability to increase the dispatch-weighted average price of energy exported and the availability of additional revenue streams from ancillary services,” the company said.

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