Iberdrola Australia has announced that it has committed to building the Avonlie Solar Farm, a 245 MW(DC) solar project near Narrandera, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, after recently acquiring the project from RES.
The project is expected to generate approximately 500 GWh/yr of electricity, equivalent to powering more than 80 000 Australian households and avoiding over 157 000 tpy of carbon emissions.
Construction work will include the installation of more than 450 000 solar panels and related balance of plant. Construction is expected to begin in early 4Q21, with initial energisation expected before the end of 2022. The project will create more than 230 full-time jobs during construction and many direct and indirect jobs during its estimated operational life of 35 years.
As Australia’s ageing and unreliable coal-fired power plants inexorably approach retirement, the National Electricity Market will require significant investment in replacement capacity. Iberdrola Australia’s decision to proceed with the construction of Avonlie Solar Farm is another demonstration of Iberdrola’s long-term commitment to meeting that market need.
Over the last two years, Iberdrola has achieved Final Investment Decision at the 245 MW Avonlie Solar Farm in NSW and at the 320 MW Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park in South Australia, and also entered into a user agreement with TransGrid in relation to the 50 MW/75M Wh Wallgrove Grid Battery in NSW. Together, these projects reflect almost AUS$1 billion of capital commitments, adding approximately 600 MW of low-cost, reliable renewable energy capacity to the National Electricity Market.
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Iberdrola Australia, Ross Rolfe, AO, said:
“At Iberdrola Australia our strategy is to put customers at the centre of the energy transition. We are seeing a rapidly growing number of commercial and industrial customers adopting net zero targets and transitioning to 100% renewable electricity contracts. We invest not only in low cost renewables – like the 245 MW Avonlie Solar Farm – but also flexible, fast start firming capacity, ensuring the electricity system remains reliable as renewable penetration grows. This optimised portfolio enables us to provide our growing customer base with long-term electricity contracts for supply that is reliable, affordable, and clean.”
“We are pleased to be contributing to economic development in the regional communities around the Narrandera Shire Council, creating jobs while preserving our natural environment. At Iberdrola Australia, we take an integrated approach to social, environmental, and economic development, creating shared value for all our stakeholders.”
Matt Rebbeck, RES’ CEO in Australia commented:
“We are very pleased to continue our strong global relationship with Iberdrola and are excited to see the project progress with them. We would like to thank the forward-thinking NSW Department for Planning Industry and Environment, Lumea, the local Narrandera Shire Council and the local community who have shown huge support for this project”.
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