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Large-scale solar for central Queensland

Solar panel
Location
Queensland
Investment
Solar
Category
Renewable energy

Reducing network transmission losses

The 20MW (AC) Barcaldine Remote Community Solar Farm in Central Queensland began exporting power to the grid in December 2016 and is expected to generate enough power to supply around 5,300 homes.

79,000
solar modules
20MW
5,300
homes

Barcaldine is more than 1,000km north-west of Brisbane and 680km west of Gladstone. The 90-hectare Barcaldine Remote Community Solar Farm's 79,000 solar modules use single-axis tracking technology to maximise the effectiveness of the PV panels as they follow the sun.

We are supporting solar's progress as a maturing and lower-cost technology, and it is important that we maintain its momentum within Australia's transitioning energy sector,
Gloria Chan
CEFC

Co-financing for development

The CEFC committed up to $20 million in cornerstone debt finance for the development of the solar farm, which also secured $22.8 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The project sponsor, Elecnor, provided equity investment. The project was planned and developed by the Barcaldine Remote Community Solar Farm Pty Ltd (BRCSF), a company owned by Elecnor Australia Pty Ltd. Elecnor Australia is a subsidiary of Elecnor SA, one of the world's leading solar energy development companies.

Elecnor sold the solar farm in February 2017 to an investment vehicle managed by Foresight Group with equity financing provided by KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management Co Ltd and Hanwha Energy. The CEFC debt finance continues to be serviced under the new ownership.

Learning from experience

The experience developed from building a large-scale solar PV farm in a fringe-of-grid area demonstrates the potential for solar projects to increase the reliability and quality of power at fringe-of-grid locations. This experience also provides useful lessons for the future rollout of off-grid remote area solar PV projects, such as those serving remote communities and mining operations.

 

Queensland, Solar, Renewable energy