Joint venture partners Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro (under the consortium name Moree Solar Farm) are committed to the development of the Moree Solar Farm which is set to be Australia’s largest solar PV generation facility.
Over the past year, joint venture partners Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro (under the consortium name Moree Solar Farm) have continued to pursue the development of the Moree Solar Farm.
Despite eventually missing out on Federal Government funding through the Solar Flagships Program, Moree Solar Farm (MSF) revised its proposal and has been liaising with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for part funding of a revised project.
ARENA, an independent federal government agency charged with seeking out viable renewable energy projects to support, is interested in supporting the Moree Solar Farm project but funding is conditional in a number of ways including that the project reaches financial close.
This is a critical milestone in the project’s development but it is not the only step which determines whether the project will proceed.
Therefore, over the coming six to twelve months MSF and ARENA will be focused on determining whether the project can proceed commercially. This means establishing commercial feasibility, finalising some planning and interconnection activities, finalising the arrangements for the sale of energy from the project. Each of these activities is critical in moving the project through to financial close and ensuring the ARENA funding is secured.
The revised project uses the same technology as the prior version (polycrystalline PV panels and single-axis tracker) but has been significantly reduced in size to 56MW. The smaller capacity reduces some complexities in developing the project but the expected number of jobs required during construction and operation are still significant.
MSF is committed to the development of the Moree Solar Farm and we appreciate the community’s ongoing enthusiasm for this project.
While working through the commercial feasibility of the project we will be increasing our activities in the community to ensure ongoing communication and updates are provided to the community.
The project will deliver multiple benefits to various stakeholders including:
- Driving positive economic outcomes by:
- Creating many employment opportunities both in and around Moree
- Attracting additional tourists to Moree and thus complementing the popular artesian spa experience
- Delivering additional indirect economic opportunities (such as using local café’s, accommodation and petrol stations)
- Providing funds to local socially and environmentally sustainable projects through the Moree Sustainable Communities Fund
- Delivering new clean electricity to help meet Australia’s future energy needs
- Providing enough solar power for approximately 15,000 homes(1)
- Creating opportunities for the indigenous community
- Furthering the development of the Australian solar PV industry
- Ensuring community involvement in the project development
- Abating over 95,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent(2)
(1) (NSW emissions factor taken from latest estimate from Australian National Greenhouse Accounts report of
Greenhouse Accounts factors, July 2012, see table 40, p71
(2) (NSW Gov’t statement that “an average NSW home uses 7,300 kWh of electricity a year” http://www.savepower.nsw.gov.au/get-the-facts/power-use-in-nsw.aspx)