Origin Energy Limited (Origin) has entered into a landmark 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) which covers 100 per cent of the output from Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ (FRV) recently commissioned 56 MW Moree Solar Farm.
Located in northern New South Wales 10km south of Moree, Moree Solar Farm comprises close to 223,000 tracking solar PV modules and is expected to produce approximately 145 GWh of energy annually – enough to supply around 24,000 Australian households. It is the first large Australian solar project to use a single-axis tracking system, with PV modules that follow the sun’s path from east to west to maximise the energy generated during the day.
Origin Chief Executive Officer, Energy Markets, Frank Calabria said, “Origin was the world’s first energy company to adopt all seven We Mean Business coalition commitments on climate change. And we’ll continue to lead on reducing emissions by entering into PPAs on large-scale renewable projects like Moree, as well as empowering our customers through our in-home solar and battery solutions. “Solar technology has improved dramatically over the past few years and the cost has come down as a result. There has never been a better time for Origin to pursue large-scale solar opportunities – and fulfil its aspiration to be one of Australia’s leading renewable energy companies.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Origin has contracted for 100 per cent of the electricity generated and 100 per cent of the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) created from Moree Solar Farm – meeting consumer demand for renewable energy and helping meet Origin’s obligations under the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target. Moree offers an ideal climate for solar generation, with the facility expected to have a minimal variation in annual output of around 5 per cent. FRV Chief Executive Officer Rafael Benjumea said, “This transaction represents a key step in achieving FRV’s strategy to develop and build renewable power generation assets across Australia and globally.
“The agreement is yet another Australian market first for FRV and demonstrates that stability is starting to return to the Australian renewable energy market,” said Mr Benjumea. Moree Solar Farm has been funded by FRV with the support of an Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) grant and debt on commercial terms from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The Moree PPA is Origin’s first ever Australian solar PPA and complements Origin’s nine existing offtake agreements with wind farms in south-eastern Australia, growing its renewable portfolio.
Origin continues to pursue developments in utility scale solar and was recently shortlisted for funding by ARENA for a development approved site in Darling Downs, Queensland.