Construction set to begin on major NSW solar farm


Monday, 15 January, 2024

Construction set to begin on major NSW solar farm

Neoen has provided notice to proceed to a joint venture of Bouygues Construction Australia and Bouygues Energies & Services Australia under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) turnkey contract, signalling the start of construction of Culcairn Solar Farm. Located 45 km north of Albury, on Wiradjuri country in the NSW Riverina region, the project has been developed by Neoen and is expected to be operational in 2026. It includes the option to incorporate a 100 MW battery at a future date. It is expected to be one of NSW’s largest solar farms with a capacity of 440 MWp/350 MW AC.

Neoen intends to contract the majority of the electricity generated by Culcairn Solar Farm via power purchase agreements. Under the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, through the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Services’ tenders, Neoen has been recently awarded a Long-Term Energy Services Agreement (LTESA). This agreement provides energy producers with the option to sell their electricity at an agreed minimum fixed price and is complementary to a PPA.

“I would like to thank the Neoen, Bouygues and Transgrid teams for their hard work and dedication as well as our host landowner families for their continued trust. Culcairn is an essential project for Neoen in NSW and in Australia and we are proud to have been awarded an LTESA contract. We have developed a strong pipeline of wind, solar and battery storage projects in NSW designed to help accelerate the state’s energy transition as it moves towards halving emissions by 2030,” said Louis de Sambucy, Neoen Australia’s CEO.

The solar farm is expected to generate enough energy to power 160,000 homes, over double the dwellings in the Riverina region. Neoen is committed to sharing benefits with the local community and will implement a program totalling AU$10 million over the asset’s lifetime. This includes an annual Community Benefit Fund for local community building initiatives and contributions to the Greater Hume Shire Council. The solar farm will incorporate agrisolar in the form of sheep-grazing.

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