AC Energy eyes early construction of Australia solar farm

UPC\AC Renewables Australia, a joint venture between AC Energy and UPC Renewables, recently announced that it has signed the connection agreement with Transgrid for the connection arrangements for the 720 MW (AC) New England Solar Farm to TransGrid’s 330kV transmission line from Tamworth to Armidale in Northeast NSW, and the delivery of connection services over the life of the project.

The development approval from the NSW Independent Planning Commission was obtained earlier this year which has allowed the commencement of early works for construction.

The New England solar farm near Uralla in New South Wales, once fully constructed, will produce enough renewable energy to power around 250,000 homes each year. It is expected that construction will take around three years with generation being brought on line in stages.
The Australia company, UPC\AC Renewables is also planning to install a large scale lithium-ion battery storage facility, which will assist with electricity grid stability and provide firm capability to deliver energy at peak periods, lowering prices for consumers.

The project will bring significant value to the local community with up to 500 direct construction jobs during the construction period with opportunities to employ locals from Uralla and the region. A community fund was also created that will start with $100,000 dollars in the first year of construction, and ramp up to $180,000 per annum when the project is fully commissioned.

“This is an exciting development to finalize the connection agreement for one of the largest solar farms in the national electricity market,” said UPC\AC Renewables CEO Anton Rohner. “This was one of the last pieces of the development puzzle, and we will now look to commence construction activities shortly.”

“This is the culmination of three years of hard work by our team and excellent engagement with the local community. The end result will be a solar farm development that adds significant value to the local community over the long term though investment and jobs. I thank the Uralla community for supporting the project,” said Rohner.

Meanwhile, Patrice Clausse, Chief Operating Officer of AC Energy International, added “Building this new solar farm will be a remarkable achievement, one that will put UPC/AC Renewables at the forefront of harnessing Australia’s strong potential in renewable energy and its world class solar resources”.