Construction of the Emerald Solar Park in Queensland is set to begin with the project reaching financial closure this week.
The RES Australia project, located west of Emerald, will create more than 500 jobs in the Central Highlands region during the construction phase, with 275,000 solar panels being installed.
It is expected that construction of the project will take less than 12 months to complete and when fully constructed, the solar park will provide up to 68MWac of generation capacity into the Queensland grid and will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of up to 35,000 households.
RES Australia announced the project reached financial close for both equity and debt, and construction would commence immediately.
Lighthouse Infrastructure has acquired 100 per cent of the project, through its Lighthouse Solar Fund.
The project is supported by an innovative long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with Telstra.
RES Australia will undertake both construction management and asset management services on behalf of Lighthouse and has appointed RCR O’Donnell Griffin to construct the project.
“Emerald Solar Park is the result of phenomenal teamwork within RES globally and our broader team of partners on the project,” RES Australia chief operating officer Matt Rebbeck said.
“I’d like to extend particular thanks to the team at Ergon Energy, to the Queensland government and, of course, to Telstra for showing great foresight, insight and market leadership in issuing Australia’s first large-scale offsite renewables corporate PPA.
“We are delighted to announce the project will now proceed into construction immediately and are looking forward to a long term partnership with the experienced team at Lighthouse Infrastructure.
“We are grateful to the local council and broader community in Emerald for the warm welcome and support they have shown our team over the past year and look forward to working closely with the community over the coming 12 months.”
The project is the second solar farm to begin construction in the region in the past weeks, with Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ 100MW Lilyvale Solar Project reaching financial close in September.