Green light for so­lar growth

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

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.

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