Cheaper by doing

Image: Neoen
1 February 2017

With more large solar projects constructed their cost is rapidly falling.

This is demonstrated with three solar plants French developer Neoen will built in NSW, at Parkes (55 MW), Griffith (30 MW) and Dubbo (25 MW).

According to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Neoen's projects were given green light after the company signed commercial power purchase agreements (PPA) with energy retailer ENGIE.

The plants will have a combined capacity of 110 megawatt (MW) and their construction is expected to cost $228 million, or around $2 per watt capacity.

If realised, this would be one third cheaper than AGL's plants in Nyngan and Broken Hill which were built in 2014 at a cost of $2.8 per watt.

And just two years ago this was considered a competitive price.

ARENA's chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht says that the Australian large-scale solar sector is now on the cusp of being fully commercial.

The Neoen solar projects are collectively receiving $16 million in funding through ARENA's Large-Scale Solar Competitive Round and $150 million in debt financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Neoen, which owns Europes most powerful solar photovoltaic farm at Cestas in France, has set its sight on Australia, where its projects also include the 315 MW Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia.

More information: