SUNRAYSIA SOLAR FARM – DEVELOPMENT CONSENT
New South Wales – On 20th June 2017, the Sunraysia Solar Farm [“SSF”] was approved under Part 4 of the Environmental and Planning and Assessment Act 1979 by Executive Director David Kitto, Resources and Assessments and Business Systems, as delegate for the Minister for Planning.
SSF is a 200MW AC solar photovoltaic power plant and the largest solar farm in New South Wales [“NSW”] to have obtained planning approval.
Maoneng’s Vice President, Qiao Nan Han, said, “I am pleased with the determination as it is a clear indication of the project’s quality, with timing impeccably aligned with the NSW Government’s ambition of transitioning to a net-zero emissions society by 2050.”
The solar farm, to be built near Balranald in western NSW, is one of the sunniest parts of NSW where the region currently thrives on dry-land and irrigated agricultural production of grains, wool, sheep meat and beef. Increased tourism, facilitated by developments such as SSF, are envisaged to add to the current economic drivers for the Balranald Shire.
“Our focus on developing the latest in solar power generation technology with energy storage and local tourism exhibitions would complement both the Shire and the State’s objectives.” Qiao Nan Han adds.
As part of local community involvement and support, Maoneng has committed an annual tertiary scholarship for 10 years for up to three students per year valued at approximately $10,000 per student. The scholarships are dedicated to Balranald Central School students and forms an important part of the school’s stage 6/HSC reforms.
Balranald Central School’s Principal, Aaron Flagg, said, “This is exciting news for our school community. Maoneng is genuinely interested in growing Balranald’s future. This is best demonstrated by our educational and corporate partnership. Having a huge economic development such as SSF on our door step will present many other educational opportunities over time for our students and our school’s future.”
“Education is a fundamental pillar of society which underpins the prosperity of our future generations. We are committed to this region through our long term planning in bringing a sustainable future.” Qiao Nan Han adds.
The development was first announced in May 2016 followed by receipt of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements in June 2016. Following six months of land, site, technical and grid interconnection feasibility studies, an Environmental Impact Statement [“EIS”] was submitted in February 2017. Incorporating stakeholder comments and inputs, the SSF has now been approved for construction.
“The development approval will be followed by further consultation with various stakeholders in developing detailed construction management plans. This process will run in parallel to our current contractor selection process to ensure that all conditions of consent are correctly adhered to. We are looking to start construction by the end of the year with an anticipated construction period of 12 months. If all goes well, SSF will be playing a large part in meeting the summer demand of 2018/19. Up to 250 jobs would be created within the Sunraysia region, where the project would be staffed by a mix of regional, national and international skill force, across the planning, finance, legal, engineering/design and construction industries.”
SSF is anticipated to generate approximately 530,000 MWh of electricity per year where the energy would be transmitted via Transgrid’s transmission lines throughout NSW and Victoria.
“This development will play a large part in off-setting some of the recent closures of thermal generators within the region as well as bringing opportunities for those looking to transition from fossil fuels into the renewable energy sector. Once completed, the solar farm, together with other solar farms, will be monitored and remotely operated out of Sydney. We intend to retain the relevant local staff to assist with the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the asset, once construction is completed.”
More about the Sunraysia Solar Farm
The development of Sunraysia Solar Farm was first announced in May 2016, with the receipt of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements in June 2016. Following six months of land, site, technical and grid interconnection feasibility studies, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted in February 2017. Incorporating stakeholder comments and inputs, the Sunraysia Solar Farm was approved for construction in July 2017.
The Sunraysia Solar Farm project will be underpinned by the UNSW PPA and one of the AGL PPAs. On 7th December 2017, Maoneng entered into a PPA with AGL Energy to supply up to 800,000 MWh of renewable energy per annum for 15 years, a portion of which will be allocated towards the Sunraysia Solar Farm. On 14th December 2017, Sunraysia Solar Farm entered into a PPA with UNSW to supply up to ~124,000 MWh of renewable energy per annum for 15 years. King & Wood Mallesons acted for Maoneng on the AGL PPAs and Clifford Chance advised Maoneng on the UNSW PPA.
Sunraysia Solar Farm entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Decmil Australia for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction of the solar farm with construction expecting to commence in Q2 2018.
Rothschild has been appointed as Maoneng’s Financial Advisor. Investor relations and lender enquiries should be directed to Rothschild’s representative on the following page.
For further information please contact:
Qiao Nan Han
Vice President – Maoneng Group
M. +61 428 275 150
Director – Project Finance and M&A
M. +61 429 833 791
M. +61 425 431 899