Clare Solar Farm, located 35km west of Ayr in north Queensland, will power approximately 42,000 Queensland homes with clean solar electricity once testing, commissioning and the ramp up to full production occurs later this year.
The 100-megawatt solar plant, which is Queensland’s largest solar plant to be up and running, features 393,300 panels over 300 hectares that track the sun during the day to maximise output and is expected to produce 260 gigawatt hours of electricity a year.
Origin will purchase 100 per cent of the output and large scale renewable energy certificates (LRECs) from Clare Solar Farm until December 2030 under a power purchase agreement.
Origin executive general manager operations and supply Greg Jarvis said more renewable energy would help Origin deliver lower prices at the same time as lowering carbon emissions for customers.
“Renewable energy in the form of wind and solar is rapidly coming down in price as the technology gets better and better,” Mr Jarvis said.
“Simply by having single-axis tracking, rather than fixed panels, we can increase the amount of solar power we can generate from Clare to feed into the grid to our customers.
“This year we are accelerating our transition to cleaner energy with more Origin-backed projects including Daydream solar farm near Collinsville in northern Queensland and Bungala in Port Augusta in South Australia, expected to connect to the grid.
“What’s allowing us to step up our investment in renewables so quickly is our large portfolio of peaking gas power stations all over Australia and our pumped hydro scheme in Shoalhaven in NSW which can come online quickly to provide reliable supply.
“Solar and wind are now the lowest cost form of new build generation and the rapid deployment of so many new projects not just by Origin but across the sector is great news for customers as it will help to put downwards pressure on prices,” Mr Jarvis said.
Last year, Origin announced a target to halve emissions by 2032. Since 2016, Origin has committed to 1,200 megawatts of new solar and wind generation through power purchase agreements since 2016 and aims for more than a quarter of our generation to be from renewable sources by 2020.
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