White Rock Solar Farm Reaches Financial Close
White Rock Solar Farm
10 May 2017
Goldwind today announced that White Rock Solar Farm in northern NSW has achieved Financial Close.
‘The award of a large-scale solar competitive grant by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has led to White Rock Solar Farm achieving Financial Close. The ARENA large scale solar initiative has been successful in stimulating strong competition and innovation among Australian solar projects.’ Said Laura Jeffrey, Development Manager for the project.
White Rock Solar Farm will be a 20 MW AC solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant located adjacent to the northern end of White Rock Wind Farm, 18 km west of Glen Innes. The development is a solar-wind hybrid renewable energy facility for the New England Tablelands. It is expected to generate around 44,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in the first year of operation, enough to supply the equivalent of approximately 7,200 average NSW homes.
The project is designed to benefit significantly from sharing part of the wind farm infrastructure, including the grid connection and access tracks. Co‑location of wind and solar provides numerous benefits such as complementary energy generation patterns, and reduced environmental impacts and project cost.
‘The opportunity to share wind farm infrastructure maximises the use of available facilities without requiring construction of additional facilities elsewhere, this is estimated to unlock over $5 million of savings.’ Said Laura.
The project investment of $41.4 million benefits from $5.4 million funding support provided by ARENA through its large-scale solar competitive round. The remaining funding consists of $25 million debt from the Agricultural Bank of China Limited Sydney Branch and $11 million equity from Goldwind.
Construction is planned to commence in July 2017, with a target for completion in January 2018. The main engineering, procurement and construction contract has been awarded to UGL, a member of the CIMIC Group. The project expects to employ up to 75 people on site at its construction peak and 3 people as ongoing operational and maintenance staff.
Like the White Rock Wind Farm, the project will launch a Local Business Participation Program as a key initiative to identify capacity in the local community and maximise opportunities for local suppliers to participate in the project.
White Rock Solar is Goldwind’s second wind-solar hybrid project following the 10MW Gullen Solar project which is now at an advanced stage of construction.