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Neoen to fast-track NSW solar farms in ‘highly favourable’ market

French renewable energy developer Neoen has decided to fast-track the three big solar projects it is building in NSW, citing Australia’s now “highly favourable” market conditions.

Neoen – which last week opened Europe’s biggest solar PV farm in France – said that after a period of policy uncertainty it was ready to commit significant resources to the development of its Parkes Solar Farm, Griffith Solar Farm, and Dubbo Solar Hub, totalling as much as 165MW of generating capacity.

It said the newly agreed Renewable Energy Target, combined with the $100m large-scale solar competitive round launched by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in September and the $250m large-scale solar program created by the CEFC in parallel, now provided highly favourable conditions for solar projects in Australia.

“After a period of regulatory uncertainty, we are thrilled to accelerate their development, and lucky to be able to rely on the support of the NSW government through the New South Wales Renewable Energy Action Plan,” Neoen said in a statement.

Neoen says the three solar farms, which are being built close to consumption centres in the state, will all benefit from ideal siting and minimal construction and connection costs.

The company – which is also developing a 100-turbine wind farm near Jamestown in South Australia; the state’s first new-build wind project since the introduction of the new RET – has initiated detailed connection studies and environmental impact studies for the three projects, as well as a community consultation program to address any community concerns. 

It has also set up project websites – www.griffithsolarfarm.com.au, www.parkessolarfarm.com.au, and www.dubbosolarhub.com.au – that will allow all project stakeholders to submit feedback online. 

Information sessions for all three projects are also being organised, to discuss any community questions or concerns.

“Having commissioned Europe’s largest solar farm in France this year, Neoen strongly believes in the future of solar,” said Neoen’s international CEO, Romain Desrousseaux.

“Until now, wind has been stronger in Australia, because no specific regulatory instruments were in place to bridge the temporary economic gap between large-scale solar and wind, but the market is now evolving with the ARENA and CEFC programs, and we see an opportunity for multiple large-scale solar projects to come to life in the years to come,” he said.

Source: RenewEconomy

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