Construction is set to begin on the 162MW Columboola solar farm near Miles in Queensland’s Western Downs region after RES Australia was appointed as the construction and asset manager.
RES said on Thursday that it had secured the construction and asset management contract for the $320 million solar project, which was recently acquired by South Korea-based Hana Financial Investment.
“Construction at Columboola will start immediately,” RES said in a statement. “(Our) construction management team will support the delivery of the project into operations by managing the EPC and grid connection contracts for the owner.
“Further, RES will provide a full-time site representative to monitor the construction progress. RES’ in house grid engineering team will support the project throughout the AEMO registration process,” it said.
The EPC contractor is Indian firm Sterling and Wilson, which is also building the 400MW Western Downs solar farm in the same region, along with two others in NSW. They will be responsible for obtaining the R1 and R2 registration certificates from AEMO.
The announcement of RES’ appointment comes just days after Hana Financial revealed it had sealed the finance for Columboola, locking in $200 million in debt finance from three top-tier international banks, led by Australia’s ANZ. It will provide $120 million in equity,.
Columboola has also secured a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with Queensland government-owned CS Energy for 100% of the site’s output – estimated to be around 450GWh annually.
Among the beneficiaries of the long-term PPA are a group of universities, all CS Energy customers, including Griffith University, CQUniversity, and QUT.
Matt Rebbeck, the CEO of RES in Australia, congratulated Hana for reaching financial close of Columboola and said RES looked forward to playing its role in “another successful high-quality” renewables project.
“Our dedicated team and strong, in-house technical expertise means that we are able to work closely with investors to get the best from their assets and respond to the challenges and opportunities to be found across the Australian electricity market, as they emerge,” Rebbeck said.
“This construction and asset management contract is a sign of the continued growth of the RES construction and asset management team in Australia – and our ambition to further strengthen RES’ relationships with local investors and grow our local construction and asset management portfolio.”