GREEN ENERGY: Chinchilla to be home to Australia’s biggest solar farm. Pic: Hollie Adams/The Australian
GREEN ENERGY: Chinchilla to be home to Australia’s biggest solar farm. Pic: Hollie Adams/The Australian

Chinchilla set to be home to Australia’s biggest solar farm

ONE of the world's leading renewable energy companies will construct Australians largest solar farm in the Western Downs, which is anticipated to bring significant economic benefits to the region, and create over 400 construction jobs.

Neoen has completed a financial close on a 460 MWp solar farm located near Chinchilla, which is set to generate enough energy to power 235,000 Queensland homes, or enough to power every home on the Sunshine Coast.

Neoen Australia's managing director Louis de Sambucy said, the company was thrilled to announce that Western Downs Green Power Hub has reached an important financial milestone.

"It represents a major achievement in a challenging environment, I would like to congratulate the team and thank our bank group and advisors for their trust and commitment," he said.

"We are extremely proud to be partnering with CleanCo and Powerlink and we're looking forward to playing our part in helping Queensland reach its ambitious target of 50% renewable energy by 2030'."

The financing for the ambitious project was completed in five months after Neoen secured a 352 MWp power purchase agreement with CleanCo Queensland - in one of Australia's most substantial renewable contracts to date.

CleanCo Queensland's CEO Maia Schweizer said, the project, "will help drive electricity affordability and create regional growth and jobs for Queenslanders."

"Generation from projects like the Western Downs Green Power Hub and our portfolio of hydro and gas allows us to supply reliable clean energy products tailored to commercial and industrial customers at competitive prices," Ms Schweizer said.

The solar farm will contribute over 30 per cent of the energy required for CleanCo to meet its target of 1 GW of new renewable energy generation by 2025.

CleanCo is focused on activities that contribute to achieving the sunshine state's 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, and create new investment and jobs in regional Queensland.

Design and works began in June by contractor Procurement & Construction, although construction is expected to take over a year, with energy generation scheduled to commence in 2022.

The solar farm is estimated to cost $600 million, with debt provided by the following lenders; Natixis, Société Générale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, NORD/LB, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.


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