Global solar and energy storage developer Luminous Energy has announced the sale of Queensland’s Columboola Solar Farm to Hana Financial Investment. The sale follows the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with CS Energy, a Queensland Government-owned energy business.
The project will demonstrate how the latest solar technology innovations — such as high-power bifacial panels and single-axis trackers that follow the sun — can significantly increase energy generation compared with traditional designs. The optimisation of energy generation through these technologies, coupled with the strategic location of the site with an excellent solar resource and resilient grid connection, enabled the project to achieve a low-levelised cost of energy and secure a PPA.
The 203 MWdc (162 MWac) project was developed with PwC Australia and will support Queensland’s target of 50% renewable energy generation by 2030.The 10-year PPA with CS Energy is for 100% of the site’s output — 450 GWh each year — and is one of Australia’s most substantial renewable energy contracts to date.
The solar farm will be constructed near Miles in Queensland’s Western Downs to supply clean and affordable energy to Queenslanders, including a group of universities — Griffith University, Central Queensland University and Queensland University of Technology — that are all CS Energy customers. The energy generated is equivalent to powering 100,000 homes — approximately 6% of all homes in the state.
“Australia is a major market in the global solar revolution and the country’s solar industry has huge potential,” Luminous Energy CEO Jolyon Orchard said.
“This project showcases how innovation can help secure an impactful and prestigious PPA, such as that with CS Energy, and interest from a world-class investor, such as Hana Financial Investment.
“It supports our vision to accelerate the growth of the global solar industry by generating low-cost, reliable electricity while respecting the natural environment.”
All six of Australia’s states have signed up to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Australia’s large-scale solar capacity almost doubled in 2019 and is set for further rapid growth as solar prices continue to fall. Queensland was Australia’s leading state for large-scale solar projects commissioned in 2019. This project supports Queensland’s emissions reductions targets and the wider Australian renewable energy transition.
The project will create up to 400 new green jobs, supporting a recent call to generate one million clean energy jobs in Australia as part of the green recovery from COVID-19.Construction of the project will commence later this year.