Leading French renewable energy company, Neoen, has commenced full-scale commercial operation at its $198 million Numurkah Solar Farm.
The Numurkah Solar Farm is a 128-megawatt (MW) renewable energy project consisting of approximately 350,000 solar panels installed on 500 hectares of land, located approximately 6 kilometres south of Numurkah in Victoria.
It is the largest of its kind in the state.
Fully owned and developed by Neoen, the Numurkah Solar Farm is expected to produce 255-gigawatt hours of emission-free, clean, competitive renewable energy per annum – the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road each year and enough to power 48,000 Victorian households.
It will also power key infrastructure such as Melbourne’s tram network and the Laverton steelworks.
An official opening ceremony occurred on Friday 19 July, and was joined by Victoria Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio.
At the event, the Minister said: “The Numurkah Solar Farm will play an important role in supporting the transformation of our energy network towards clean, renewable energy and reaching our renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.”
The renewable energy project is supported by a 38 MW Green Certificate Purchase agreement with the Victorian Government and a 15-year power purchase agreement with GFG Alliance’s SIMEC ZEN Energy.
Downer EDI Limited was awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the Numurkah Solar Farm in late July 2018.
Site preparations began in October 2018, with full construction and connection completed in April 2019.
Approximately 300 positions were created for the Numurkah region during the construction of the solar farm.
Managing Director of Neoen Australia, Louis de Sambucy, said that Numurkah is an important project for Neoen and the commencement of commercial operations in Australia is a significant milestone for their operations.
“We sincerely thank our stakeholders – the Victorian Government, the Numurkah community, Moira Shire Council, Powercor Australia, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and SIMEC Zen Energy – for helping us make this project a success.”
“Neoen will continue to work with its partners, the local communities, councils and state governments to ensure that the people of Australia enjoy clean, reliable and affordable electricity for decades to come,” he said.
Neoen’s Chairman and CEO, Xavier Barbaro, added: “We are very proud to be bringing into service the Numurkah Solar Farm. With this project, Neoen confirms its commitment as a long-term owner and operator contributing to Australia’s renewable energy transition. We are determined to continue growing our asset base in Australia, and we will pursue all future developments with the same integrity and respect for local areas.”