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CEFC welcomes construction milestone at Australia’s largest solar and battery storage project to date

1 December 2015


The Clean Energy Finance Corporation today welcomed the installation of the first solar PV panels at the DeGrussa Copper Mine in Western Australia. The CEFC has committed up to $15 million in finance towards the innovative $40 million project, which is the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia.

DeGrussa mine owner Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR; "Sandfire") today advised the ASX that construction of the $40 million DeGrussa solar power project is well underway.

You can see today's ASX announcement here: http://clients2.weblink.com.au/clients/sandfire/article.asp?asx=SFR&view=6744870

Installation of the steel posts is complete, with site electrical work also well progressed to allow connection of the 10MW facility to the existing diesel-fired power station at DeGrussa. Installation of the first solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has commenced, with the overall project on track to be completed in Q1 of calendar year 2016.

The DeGrussa project will consist of 34,080 solar PV panels covering a total area of over 20 hectares at a site located immediately adjacent to the DeGrussa underground mine and processing plant. The $40 million project is also supported by a grant of $20.9 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said: "The DeGrussa solar project demonstrates the strong potential for remote and regional areas of Australia to use innovative technology to reap the economic benefits of renewable energy.  We see the use of solar and battery storage in remote areas as providing an exciting opportunity for remote miners and communities to reduce their reliance on diesel-powered energy.

"Remote area mines represent a significant and growing opportunity for solar with battery storage to provide a complementary power source. As battery technology is further developed, the price of installation of such systems is predicted to continue falling."

The CEFC's $15 million commitment to the DeGrussa project is an important part of the Corporation's support for the development of large-scale solar projects in Australia.

The CEFC has received strong market interest from more than 40 domestic and international project developers pursuing investment opportunities in the development of Australia's large-scale solar capacity, under its $250 million lending program for large-scale solar. The CEFC large-scale solar program complements a $100 million funding program opened at the same time by ARENA.

Projects under consideration by the CEFC range in size from 15MW to 200MW. By state, the proposed projects submitted for consideration include Queensland (the largest number of projects, for a combined 980MW); New South Wales (620MW); South Australia (220MW); Western Australia (100MW) and Victoria (135MW). 

*UPDATE: The DeGrussa Solar Project was commissioned and achieved full generation capacity in June 2016.


About ARENA

ARENA was established by the Australian Government to make renewable energy technologies more affordable and increase the amount of renewable energy used in Australia. ARENA invests in renewable energy projects, supports research and development activities, boosts job creation and industry development, and increases knowledge about renewable energy. ARENA is currently supporting more than 200 projects and is actively seeking new projects to support.

About juwi

The juwi Group is one of the world's leading renewable energy companies specialising in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") of utility-scale projects. With approximately 1,000 employees worldwide, juwi has been involved in the development, design, construction and operation of more than 1,500 solar PV projects and the installation of more than 700 wind turbines with a cumulated capacity of over 3,300MW.

About Neoen

Neoen, an independent energy company, was founded in 2008 on the initiative of French business leader Mr Jacques Veyrat. The company is a subsidiary of Impala SAS (www.impala-sas.com), a diversified investment group with over 6000 employees and a global presence. Capenergie II fund (managed by Omnes Capital, www.omnescapital.com) and Bpifrance (www.bpifrance.fr), the French public investment bank, are the minority shareholders of Neoen. Neoen develops, finances, builds and operates power plants based on renewable energies (solar, wind and biomass). Neoen is active in France, Portugal, Australia, Mexico, Egypt and El Salvador and seeks to achieve installed power of over 1000MW by 2017.

About OTOC

OTOC Limited is a diversified infrastructure and survey solutions company. OTOC's Surveying Division are highly regarded surveying consultants with expertise in land and cadastral, infrastructure and engineering surveying, aerial mapping, town planning and urban design.  OTOC has a clear strategy to create a premium multi-disciplinary national surveying business. OTOC Australia is a leading provider of infrastructure construction and maintenance services for government, civil infrastructure and resources and projects.