Neoen has tied up the finances it needs to proceed with the Western Downs Green Power Hub, described as the largest solar farm in Australia.
The $600 million project near Chinchilla is expected to create more than 400 construction jobs.
Sterling & Wilson were appointed as the project’s Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contractor in May, design and engineering works began in June, and site mobilisation is expected by the end of the year.
Financing for the 460 MWp solar farm has been secured through a syndicate of seven lenders: Natixis, Société Générale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, NORD/LB, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
“We are delighted to announce that Western Downs Green Power Hub has reached this important financial milestone,” Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said.
“It represents a major achievement in a challenging environment. I would like to congratulate the team and thank our bank group and advisors for their trust and commitment.”
The financing of Western Downs was completed five months after Neoen secured a 352 MWp power purchase agreement with CleanCo Queensland, in one of Australia’s most substantial renewable contracts to date.
The project will contribute more than 30 per cent of the energy required for CleanCo to meet its target of 1 GW of new renewable energy generation by 2025.
Construction is expected to take over a year, with energy generation scheduled to commence in 2022.
With about a million solar panels, the solar farm will generate enough energy to power 235,000 Queensland homes.