The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) invests in the 80MW (AC) Oakey Solar Farm located in southeast Queensland. The project is expected to provide forecasting technology to improve grid stability and energy reliability.
Based on a press release published on the website of the CEFC, the investment signifies the organisation’s previous commitment of $19.5 million for the other 25MW Oakey 1 development, which is presently under construction. When the 80MW Oakey project is finished, it is anticipated to provide sufficient renewable energy to provide an estimated 24,000 households in Queensland.
According to Gloria Chan, CEFC Large-Scale Solar Lead, “This is an exciting development for the next generation of Queensland solar, with the Oakey project being ‘battery ready.’”
She added, “A key feature of the CEFC’s role in the market is to encourage critical technologies that assist in Australia’s smooth transition to a cleaner, more reliable electricity grid. As part of the investment, equity sponsor Foresight Solar fund Limited will collaborate with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to install suitable five-minute forecasting technology that can assist AEMO enhance grid stability as Australia transitions to higher penetration of renewables.”
The CEFC promised nearly $495 million in finance to aid large-scale solar projects in Queensland and to drive the development of over 750MW in large-scale solar capacity in the state.
The Oakey 2 project is being developed by Canadian Solar on an uncontracted merchant status while the Oakey 1 guaranteed an offtake agreement from the Queensland Government and funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The General Manager of Canadian Solar, Daniel Ruoss, stated, “Since 2014, Canadian Solar has been investing millions of dollars in Queensland and its world-class solar resources. Through our project developments, we are collaborating closely with local stakeholders to maximise the benefits for the region and local communities. Oakey 2, which will involve 120 construction jobs, is scheduled to commence construction in the first quarter of 2018 and we expect it to be grid connected by the end of 2018.”