Funding kick starts Victorian solar project

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Neoen, a French renewable energy producer, has commenced work on the Numurkah solar farm, located in Victoria, following a funding agreement.

Located on the Goulburn Valley Highway in northwest Victoria, the 128MW renewable energy project is supported by a 38MW Green Certificate Purchase agreement by the Victorian Government and a 15-year power purchase agreement with GFG Alliance’s SIMEC ZEN Energy.

The total project cost is approximately $198 million, funded in combination by Neoen, specialist clean energy financer Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), clients managed by Vantage Infrastructure, an independent specialist investment manager, as well as German Landesbank NORD/LB. Downer EDI has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the power plant.

Full construction will commence this week, with the first panels being installed in October 2018 and commercial operations slated to begin in May 2019. At the peak of construction, the solar farm is expected to create up to 300 new jobs for the Numurkah region. Once completed, the solar farm will generate over 255GWh of emission-free, clean, competitive renewable energy per annum.

Franck Woitiez, Managing Director of Neoen Australia, said the successful financial close of Numurkah is one of the most significant milestones for the company’s local operations.

“Numurkah is an important project for Neoen, firstly because it marks the achievement of our first gigawatt of projects in Australia, either under construction or in operation. Secondly, because the Victorian Government and ZEN Energy are long-term partners for Neoen and this project proves that collectively, we are moving towards our aim of delivering sustainable, reliable and competitive energy to all Australians.”

Through its repeated support and innovative approach to renewable energy, the Victorian Government has enabled this project which will deliver even more benefits to the state of Victoria.

“We’re supporting the renewables sector to create local jobs and deliver affordable, clean energy,” Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio, said.

“We’ve backed the Numurkah solar farm every step of the way to drive down energy prices, create jobs and reduce emissions.”

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