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Image credit: Toowoomba Chronicle

Solar and energy storage developer, Luminous Energy, has announced the completed sale of 100% shares of the 203MW Columboola Solar Farm in Queensland, Australia.

The sale was completed with Hana Financial Investment (Samchully Asset Management as the fund manager), after the recently signed power purchase agreement (PPA) with CS Energy, a Queensland Government-owned energy business.

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The PPA with CS Energy is for 100% of the site’s output – 450GWh each year – and is one of Australia’s most substantial renewable energy contracts ever.

The project was developed with PwC Australia and will support Queensland’s target of 50% renewable energy generation by 2030.

The solar farm will be constructed near Miles in Queensland’s Western Downs and will power the equivalent of 100,000 homes or approximately 6% of all homes in the state.

The solar farm will supply clean and affordable energy to Queenslanders, including a group of universities – Griffith University, Central Queensland University and Queensland University of Technology – that are all CS Energy customers.

Jolyon Orchard, CEO of Luminous Energy said: “Australia is a major market in the global solar revolution and the country’s solar industry has huge potential. This project showcases how innovation can help secure an impactful and prestigious PPA, such as that with CS Energy, and interest from a world-class investor, such as Hana Financial Investment. It supports our vision to accelerate the growth of the global solar industry by generating low cost, reliable electricity while respecting the natural environment.”

Luminous Energy designed the 1,000-acre Columboola site to have a minimal impact on the surrounding environment, respecting the Indigenous cultural heritage of the site and natural features of the landscape, such as water courses and remnant vegetation.

The project will demonstrate how the latest solar technology innovations – such as high power bifacial panels and single-axis trackers that follow the sun – can significantly increase energy generation when compared to traditional designs. The optimisation of energy generation through these technologies, coupled with the strategic location of the site with an excellent solar resource and resilient grid connection, enabled the project to achieve a low levelised cost of energy (LCOE) and secure a sought after PPA.

The project will create up to 400 new green jobs, supporting a recent call to generate one million clean energy jobs in Australia as part of the green recovery from COVID-19.

Construction of the site will begin in September and is due to be completed by the end of 2021.