New England solar farm stage 1 reaches financial close

ross river solar farm, new england solar farm

Having commenced early works including substation and road design in late 2020, UPC\AC Renewables Australia has announced it has reached Financial Close for the first 400MW stage of the New England Solar Farm at Uralla in NSW. 

This is the first stage of what will ultimately be a combined 720MW Solar and 400MWhr Battery at the site. 

Debt financing for the initial stage of the project is being provided by Bank of China, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac. 

Grid connection and initial energy production is expected to occur by July 2022. The remainder of the project is projected to be placed in service by around the end of 2023. 

The project is being built by Green Light Contractors, the local subsidiary of Elecnor, a leading Spanish Engineer Procure and Construct (EPC) contractor with extensive experience building renewable energy and transmission assets around the world. 

Once fully constructed, the New England Solar Farm, near Uralla, in New South Wales will produce enough energy to power approximately 250,000 typical NSW households each year and will supply energy to the market to help fill the gap left by the expected closure of the Liddell Power Station. 

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This project will bring significant value to the local community with up to 500 direct construction jobs during the construction period, generating employment opportunities for locals from Uralla and the surrounding region. 

UPC\AC Renewables is also planning to install up to a 400MWh lithium-ion battery storage facility, with the first 50MWh, which is supported by the NSW Emerging Energy Program, expected to become operational in mid-2022. 

This battery system will assist with electricity grid stability and provide firm capability to deliver energy at peak periods, lowering prices for consumers. 

The New England Solar Farm is expected to participate in the New South Wales Electricity Infrastructure RoadMap bidding process to secure a long-term energy services agreement which will assist the NSW Government to deliver lower energy prices to consumers. 

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UPC\AC Renewables Australia CEO Anton Rohner said, “It’s exciting to achieve financial close on a merchant basis for such a large project, which is the first of many such projects we have in Australia. 

“UPC\AC Renewables Australia views this project fitting into the NSW Government RoadMap and look forward to being engaged in this process to help lower electricity prices in NSW. 

“This is the culmination of three and a half years of hard work by our team and excellent engagement with the local community; we thank the Uralla and New England community for their support.” 

UPC Renewables executive chairman Brian Caffyn said they would like to thank our partner AC Energy for their financial and technical support in making this project a reality. 

“This is a very large energy project even for Australia and we are proud to be associated with the New England Solar Farm and the local community and helping to transition NSW towards a clean, lower cost energy future,” he said.