ARENA-backed 20-MW solar farm in Western Australia ready to break ground
Solar park. Author: Chris Baird. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.
The 20-MW Emu Downs solar farm in Western Australia has signed a funding agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and will start construction within weeks, ARENA said on Monday.
The solar farm is the first in the state to be co-located with wind turbines. Being developed by Australian gas infrastructure company APA Group (ASX:APA), it will share transmission connection and facilities with APA's existing 80-MW Emu Downs wind farm.
The Emu Downs solar project is one of 12 that won support in ARENA's large-scale solar competitive round in September. It has been awarded AUD 5.5 million (USD 4.1m/EUR 3.9m).
Separately, APA said it has entered into a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Western Australian energy provider Synergy for the 20-MW solar project, starting from January 2018.
"The expansion of APA’s existing Emu Downs Wind Farm with the complimentary solar generation makes logical and financial sense both from a power generation profile, as well as sharing transmission connection infrastructure," commented APA Group managing director Mick McCormack.
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht, meanwhile, said that according to a recent ARENA-supported study, there is a potential to add 1,000 MW of solar to existing wind farms in Australia.