Origin Energy Limited (Origin) is pleased to announce it has been invited by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to enter formal negotiations for $20 million in funding for the development of the ~108 MW Darling Downs Solar Farm.
Located approximately 45km west of Dalby in south east Queensland, Darling Downs Solar Farm received development approval from the Western Downs Council in early 2016 and is expected to begin construction in early 2017. Once completed, Darling Downs Solar Farm will be the largest solar power plant in Australia.
Origin’s Energy Markets CEO Frank Calabria said, “We’re delighted that Darling Downs Solar Farm has been offered funding under ARENA’s large-scale Solar PV program, an initiative we believe is important in helping advance the utility scale solar industry in Australia.”
“The strategic location of the solar farm adjacent to Origin’s Darling Downs Power Station gives the project distinct benefits and Origin’s substantial gas-fired generation portfolio will help to balance out the intermittent nature of renewable generation.
“Origin is looking to develop a portfolio of potential large-scale solar sites and the construction of the Darling Downs Solar Farm may help to unlock these future developments and further our progress towards being Australia’s number one renewable energy provider.
“Origin has long been preparing for a carbon-constrained future and was the first company in Australia to adopt all seven of the We Mean Business coalition commitments on climate change. Our strategy of combining a focus on gas-fired generation with owned and contracted renewable energy helps meet our customers’ demand for cleaner electricity.
‘We recently signed our third large scale solar PPA in the past 12 months, adding the 10.8 MW Lakeland project in far north Queensland to an existing portfolio that includes the Moree solar farm in NSW and the Clare Solar Farm in Queensland.”
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said “Australia’s big solar industry is coming of age thanks to ARENA support, ensuring large-scale solar was a competitive, sustainable energy option.”
“ARENA has been a driving force in bringing down costs and accelerating the commerciality of large-scale solar in Australia and has carried out a multiyear plan to build capacity in Australian supply chains and expertise over successive projects,” Mr Frischknecht said.
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