Global renewable energy producer Neoen has secured financing for its 460MWp Western Downs Green Power Hub in Australia.
Located near Chinchilla in South West Queensland, Western Downs Green Power Hub is said to become the largest solar farm in Australia.
The solar facility is being built with an investment of A$600m ($427m). It secured financing from seven lenders, including Natixis, Société Générale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, NORD/LB, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Entirely owned by Neoen, the solar farm will supply clean energy to Powerlink’s transmission network and is expected to bring significant economic benefits to the region.
Neoen noted that the solar facility already has a 352MWp power purchase agreement (PPA) in place with CleanCo, Queensland’s publicly owned renewable energy company.
Under the PPA, the solar facility will supply clean energy to CleanCo that will help the company in meeting 30% of its energy requirements and help it achieve its target of 1GW of new renewable energy generation by 2025.
The investment is expected to generate more than 400 employment opportunities during the construction phase in the local area and south-west Queensland region.
In May, Sterling & Wilson company was selected as the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, with design and engineering works beginning in June.
Site mobilisation is expected in the fourth quarter of this year. The solar facility is expected to come online in 2022.
Once operational, it is expected to generate clean energy that will be sufficient to power 235,000 Queensland homes.
Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said: “We are delighted to announce that Western Downs Green Power Hub has reached this important financial milestone. It represents a major achievement in a challenging environment.”