Green light for solar growth
SAUDI- owned solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures has received approval to build two more Queensland projects, at Clare, near Ayr, and Tieri, in central Queensland.
FRV Australia announced the approvals yesterday, saying the locations were ideal for solar power amid strong support for increasing zero- emission generation.
It comes as fund managers Lighthouse Infrastructure and DIF last month announced they had each acquired 50 per cent interests in the 125MW Clare Solar Farm project, believed to cost about $ 190 million to build.
FRV said the two new projects would add 141MW to its 281MW of solar projects.
“These recent planning approvals build on FRV’s track record of successfully working with local communities to achieve positive regulatory endorsement for its utility- scale solar projects,” FRV Australia managing director Cameron Garnsworthy said.
The 45MW Clare II Solar Farm received approval from Burdekin Shire Council last month. The site is adjacent to the Clare Solar Farm, which FRV said was now under construction on a 340ha holding on Shadforth Rd near the Clare substation.
An FRV spokesman told the Bulletin the Clare and Tieri sites were ideal for generating high volumes of renewable energy given the amount of sun received throughout the year.
“With strong support for increasing the amount of longterm renewable energy generation, FRV is looking to increase the amount of zeroemission solar energy it can provide to customers within the National Energy Market,” the spokesman said.
“In light of this, FRV is proposing to invest in the two further solar farm projects – Tieri Solar Farm and Clare II.”
A 96MW Tieri Solar Farm received approval from the Central Highlands Regional Council in late May, while FRV has approval to construct a 125MW Lilyvale Solar Farm, also in Central Queensland.
Construction of the Lilyvale Solar Farm is expected to start in the third quarter of 2017.
FRV has a 4.8GW development portfolio in emerging solar markets including Australia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Earlier this year, US- listed photovoltaic module manufacturer Trina Solar was awarded the contract to supply PV modules for the Clare Solar Farm.
The project is the first utility- scale facility to secure financing purely on a commercial Power Purchasing Agreement with Origin Energy and without government grants and funding.
The Clare Solar Farm will create about 200 jobs during construction.