New Energy Solar acquires Beryl project

New Energy Solar has entered into binding agreements to acquire the 87MW Beryl Solar Farm from First Solar.

The $187 million solar project is located 5km west of Gulgong in New South Wales in one of the three priority renewable energy zones identified by the NSW Government.

On full commercial operation, the plant will sell approximately 134,000 MWh of electricity per annum to Transport for NSW under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to meet the power needs of the Sydney Metro Northwest railway.

It is the second project New Energy has acquired from First Solar, following the recent purchase of the 48.5MW Manildra Solar Farm.

New Energy will acquire a 49 per cent interest in Beryl shortly after construction has commenced.

Once Beryl reaches commercial operation (targeted for mid-2019), and subject to remaining consents and conditions, the company will acquire the remaining 51 per cent.

“Beryl, New’s second investment in Australia, will further enhance the scale and contracted cashflows of our Australian portfolio,” New Energy CEO John Martin said.

“The 15-year PPA term, longer than PPAs currently offered in the Australian market, diversifies our contract tenor profile and underpins investor returns.

“Following the Manildra acquisition last month, we are delighted to be consolidating our relationship with First Solar through this second sizeable transaction in the Australian market.”

Downer Utilities Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Downer EDI, commenced construction of the project in May.

Beryl is expected to generate more than 199,000MWh of electricity in the first year.

First Solar Energy Services will provide construction management services and, once completed, operations, maintenance and asset management services to the project.