The Numurkah Solar Farm will demonstrate how solar energy can deliver a cost-effective solution for energy-intensive manufacturers.
The 100MW (AC) (128MWp) solar farm in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley region is expected to generate about 255,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity into the national power grid each year. That’s enough solar to power about 42,000 homes.
The $198 million solar farm, being developed by Neoen, will be constructed over 500 hectares and include about 350,000 solar panels. It is expected to be operating by the middle of 2019.
Neoen has secured major power supply contracts that will serve both the Laverton steelworks in Melbourne’s west and the Melbourne tram network.
Neoen has contracted 60 per cent of the farm’s projected bundled output to renewable energy retailer SIMEC ZEN Energy, a majority owned subsidiary of the GFG Alliance which operates the Laverton steelworks. SIMEC ZEN Energy will use the energy to support firm retail supply contracts to commercial and industrial customers in Victoria, including the Laverton steelworks.
The Victorian Government has contracted a further 30 per cent of Numurkah’s large-scale generation certificates to support its goal of covering the electricity load of Melbourne’s tram network with solar power.
The CEFC has committed $60 million in debt finance to the project. The debt finance syndicate for the Numurkah project also includes clients managed by Vantage Infrastructure, an independent specialist investment manager, as well as German Landesbank NORD/LB.