Origin sells Darling Downs solar project

Origin Energy has announced the sale of its Darling Downs Solar Farm project to APA Group.

The solar farm is a utility-scale photovoltaic solar project, located 45km from Dalby, with a potential generating capacity of 110MW.

On completion of the sale, Origin expects to sign another large-scale solar power purchase agreement (PPA), as the company continues to accelerate the uptake of renewable power in Australia.

The PPA will underpin the development of Darling Downs Solar Farm.

Under the terms of the PPA with APA, Origin will buy all of the renewable power generated by the 110 MW Darling Downs Solar Farm, from commencement of operations in 2018 to 2030.

Origin will also acquire the associated Renewable Energy Certificates.

Origin identified and developed Darling Downs Solar Farm project, including securing $20 million funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

This funding will be provided to APA as the new project owner.

“Origin is delighted to be securing another long-term agreement to purchase renewable power, while simultaneously announcing the sale of Darling Downs Solar Farm to APA,” Origin chief executive officer Frank Calabria said.

“This transaction is further evidence of Origin delivering on our commitment to rapidly increase the uptake of renewable energy in Australia, and deliver cleaner energy to homes and businesses.

“At a time when energy markets are in transition, Origin is taking decisive action to ensure a secure, reliable and affordable energy supply.

“We are both increasing the total energy we supply to meet the needs of customers, and growing the share of renewables in our energy mix as the cost of renewable technologies continues to fall.”

Mr Calabria said over the past 12 months, Origin has added more than 650MW of solar to our power portfolio.

“We’re well on our way towards achieving our objective of building or contracting up to 1500MW of new large scale renewable generation by 2020,” he said.

“This will see Origin almost entirely replace the capacity of what was one of Australia’s largest carbon emitters, the recently retired Hazelwood power station, with 100 per cent renewable energy.”

Under the terms of the sale, Origin will recoup from APA costs associated with the development of Darling Downs Solar Farm to date.

The sale of Darling Downs Solar Farm is expected to complete in May 2017.