Origin Energy Limited (Origin) today announced it had sold the Darling Downs Solar Farm project to APA Group (APA) and expects to sign another large scale solar power purchase agreement (PPA) on completion of the sale, as Origin continues to accelerate the uptake of renewable power in Australia. The PPA will underpin the development of Darling Downs Solar Farm in Queensland.
Under the terms of the PPA with APA, Origin will buy all of the renewable power generated by the 110 MW Darling Downs Solar Farm, from commencement of operations in 2018 to 2030. Origin will also acquire the associated Renewable Energy Certificates.
Origin identified and developed Darling Downs Solar Farm project, including securing $20 million funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). This funding will be provided to APA as the new project owner.
Origin CEO, Frank Calabria said, “Origin is delighted to be securing another long-term agreement to purchase renewable power, while simultaneously announcing the sale of Darling Downs Solar Farm to APA.
“This transaction is further evidence of Origin delivering on our commitment to rapidly increase the uptake of renewable energy in Australia, and deliver cleaner energy to homes and businesses.
“At a time when energy markets are in transition, Origin is taking decisive action to ensure a secure, reliable and affordable energy supply. We are both increasing the total energy we supply to meet the needs of customers, and growing the share of renewables in our energy mix as the cost of renewable technologies continues to fall.
“In a little over 12 months, Origin has added more than 650 MW of solar to our power portfolio and we are the largest supporter of large scale solar in Australia. In simple terms, this is the equivalent of installing solar panels on more than 400 Australian homes1 every day for an entire year.
“We’re well on our way towards achieving our objective of building or contracting up to 1,500 MW of new large scale renewable generation by 2020.
“This will see Origin almost entirely replace the capacity of what was one of Australia’s largest carbon emitters, the recently retired Hazelwood power station, with 100 per cent renewable energy.
“Reflecting on today’s agreements, Origin would like to acknowledge the important role of ARENA in supporting the development of Darling Downs Solar Farm and renewable energy in Australia,” Mr Calabria said.
Under the terms of the sale, Origin will recoup from APA costs associated with the development of Darling Downs Solar Farm to date. The sale of Darling Downs Solar Farm is expected to complete in May 2017.
About Darling Downs Solar Farm project
Darling Downs Solar Farm is a utility-scale photovoltaic solar project located approximately 45 kilometres from Dalby in south-western Queensland.
Darling Downs Solar Farm will have a potential generating capacity of approximately 110 MW, making it one of the largest solar projects in Australia generating enough renewable energy to power up to 32,000 homes.
The project is located next to Origin’s gas-fired Darling Downs Power Station and close to high-voltage transmission infrastructure.
1Based on average residential solar installation of 4.4kW.
Note to editors: high quality vision of the project available.
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About Origin Energy
Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) is the leading Australian integrated energy company with market leading positions in energy retailing (approximately 4.2 million customer accounts), power generation (approximately 6,000 MW of capacity owned and contracted) and natural gas production (1,093 PJ of 2P reserves and annual production of 82 PJe). Through Australia Pacific LNG, its incorporated joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec, Origin is developing Australia’s biggest CSG to LNG project based on the country’s largest 2P CSG reserves base.