Equis Energy (Equis), Asia’s largest independent renewable energy developer and investor, recently approved the development, construction and operation of two solar projects in South Australia and Queensland, Australia with a total generation capacity of 200MWAC (Projects). The Projects will involve a capital investment of approximately A$400 million. Equis has also secured land rights over an additional 2,000 hectares allowing for an additional 1,000MWAC of large scale solar projects to be constructed over the near term.
Tailem Bend, South Australia
Equis has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) for a 100MWAC solar project located near Tailem Bend, South Australia (Tailem Bend Solar Project), which will be constructed alongside a Snowy Hydro owned 28.8MWAC diesel-fired power station. Snowy Hydro is a leading integrated energy business in Australia which currently owns and operates 5,500MW of generation capacity across Australia, including the iconic 4,100MW Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme. Snowy Hydro has agreed to purchase 100% of the power produced from the Tailem Bend Solar Project for at least 22 years. Construction of the Tailem Bend Solar Project is expected to commence in early 2017. The Tailem Bend Solar Project will be one of the lowest cost solar projects in Australia.
The combined power and large-scale generation certificates price of the Tailem Bend Solar Project is approximately 40% less than prevailing South Australian market prices, delivering significant savings to South Australian consumers. David Russell, Equis Group CEO, commented, “As Asia’s largest renewable energy developer and investor, the Tailem Bend Solar Project represents an exciting expansion into Australia for Equis and an unique opportunity to leverage our development and construction expertise to deliver low cost, large scale, reliable renewable energy for Australian consumers.” Mr Russell noted, “By developing the Tailem Bend Solar Project and Snowy Hydro diesel projects together, the combined system will have the capability of providing stable power any time of the day across the entire year. In addition, the Tailem Bend Solar Project has been developed to facilitate large scale “battery storage” further enhancing the “base load” like nature of the projects.”
Separately, development approval has recently been obtained from the Whitsunday Regional Council for a 100MWAC solar project in Collinsville North, Queensland, Australia (Collinsville North Solar Project), to be constructed on land close to the Collinsville North substation. Construction of the Collinsville North Solar Project is expected to commence in 2017. To be developed entirely by Equis, the Tailem Bend Solar Project and Collinsville North Solar Project will bring the number of renewable energy projects under development and construction by Equis to 49. In addition,
Equis has completed a further 33 utility scale renewable energy projects in Asia over the last 3 years or on average 1 project every 5 weeks.
The Tailem Bend Solar Project and Collinsville North Solar Project will:
1. Supply the annual power needs of 63,165 homes.
2. Employ over 400 people during the construction phase.
3. Save 397,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year or the equivalent of removing 83,860 passenger vehicles from Australian roads.
4. Save 407.2 million litres of water each year (when compared with the water usage of coal fired power plants)..
“The Tailem Bend Solar Project and Collinsville North Solar Project will be two of Australia’s lowest cost solar generation projects and will contribute low cost solar power and new jobs into regional communities. Both plants will also be designed as “battery-storage ready” further enhancing their long term attractiveness as stable, low cost sources of power,” added Mr Russell.