9 December 2015
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is committing up to $20 million in cornerstone debt finance for a large-scale solar farm near the historic Central Queensland town of Barcaldine.
CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the $69 million Barcaldine Solar Farm, to be constructed by global renewable energy company Elecnor, will demonstrate how a large-scale solar farm can provide a competitively-priced renewable energy alternative.
The Barcaldine Solar Farm will operate on the fringe of the National Energy Market grid. Generating power across the grid strengthens the system and should reduce future grid costs and reduce transmission losses.
"Solar is an increasingly cost-effective solution to boost the reliability of power in remote communities, providing an important and affordable energy alternative," Mr Yates said.
"Projects like this demonstrate the effectiveness of solar power as a competitive source of energy. Given the project's location, solar power is ideal. Barcaldine has year-round sunshine, which means the project site has excellent insolation characteristics, allowing efficient and effective solar energy generation throughout the year."
The Barcaldine Solar Farm is located about five kilometres east of Barcaldine, a town which takes its name from the Barcaldine Downs sheep station established in 1863. The 20MW AC (25 MW DC) solar facility will be capable of generating power for some 5,300 homes, using single-axis tracking technology that maximises the effectiveness of the PV panels as they follow the sun. The project will see some 79,000 solar PV panels covering a 90-hectare site next to a transmission substation, enabling grid connection.
The Barcaldine Solar Farm has also secured $22.8 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The project sponsor, Elecnor, is providing equity investment. The project is being 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 spokesman Francisco Garcia Valverde said the Barcaldine Solar Farm would take around 12 months to construct and provide up to 175 jobs at peak construction.
"The support from the CEFC and ARENA has been essential for
getting the project to this stage to support the future energy
supply of the Barcaldine, Blackall and Longreach communities," he
NOTE: Barcaldine achieved first generation and export to the grid in December 2016.
About Barcaldine Regional Community Solar Farm Pty Ltd
Barcaldine Regional Community Solar Farm is 100 per cent owned by Elecnor. Elecnor is one of Spain's leading companies in engineering, development and construction of projects relating to infrastructures, renewable energies and new technologies. Elecnor is listed on the Spanish stock exchange with a turnover of around $3 billion. With more than 58 years of experience, Elecnor has a global presence in more than 40 countries and employs over 12,500 professionals. Elecnor Australia is currently constructing 70MW Moree Solar Farm (NSW) and is an active player of the solar industry in the country.
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.