ARENA selects 22 large-scale solar projects to take next step

Sophia Rostron   |   January 18, 2016

Twenty-two (22) eligible expressions of interest (EOIs) received by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for its $100 million large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) competitive round have been short-listed and invited to submit full applications for consideration.

ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said the expression of interest (EOI) phase had attracted strong interest, including several new entrants to the market, and the overall quality of proposals was high.

“ARENA received 77 eligible EOIs [in early Novemeber 2015] and has selected 22 high merit projects to proceed to the full application stage with submissions due by 15 June 2016.  

The projects are located in all mainland states and have a total capacity of 766 megawatts (MW). Each project was able to demonstrate its cost of energy was below the threshold of $135 per MWh, with some projecting costs significantly below this threshold level." 

Mr Frischknecht said the funding round was well timed to drive innovation and reduce solar PV supply chain costs in Australia, where large-scale solar was still in its infancy. 

"ARENA's support will ensure a series of large-scale solar projects get off the ground and will help move large-scale solar costs in Australia further down the cost curve, potentially to less than $100 per MWh by 2020. 

It is clear that large-scale solar has the potential to become one of the most competitive forms of energy in the world.  It is also clear that, despite our significant solar advantages,

Australia has some work to do to catch up to countries with more mature large-scale solar industries – our grid-connected large-scale solar capacity will shortly reach 240 MW and is generated by a only a handful of solar plants." 


Image Source: 'Large Scale Solar Photovoltaics' - Arena (full infograph available here). 

Projects invited to submit a Full Application

The 22 EOIs are seeking $332 million for projects totalling $1.68 billion to deploy large-scale solar farms in Queensland (10), New South Wales (8), Victoria (2), South Australia (1) and Western Australia (1).

ARENA's large-scale solar competitive round is designed to support the development of approximately 200 MW of large-scale solar capacity and reduce costs.

An additional 200 MW would significantly boost Australia's large-scale capacity, with the combined 440 MW total of large-scale solar able to generate up to 860,000 MWh of electricity each year, enough to power 120,000 average Australian homes.

22 high merit projects have been selected to proceed to the full application stage. The projects are located in all mainland states and have a total capacity of 766 megawatts (MW).

More info about the scope of activity and application deadlies can be accessed from ARENA here.  

Organisation Project Town State MW
Origin Energy Limited Darling Downs Solar Farm Dalby QLD 106.8
Gannawarra Solar Farm Pty Ltd Gannawarra Solar Farm Kerang VIC 52.8
Syncline Energy Pty Ltd Bannerton Solar Park Bannerton VIC 51.2
FRV Services Australia Pty Ltd Baralaba Solar Farm Baralaba QLD 50.0
Genex Power Limited Kidston Solar Project Kidston QLD 50.0
KCSF Consortium North Queensland Solar Farm Proserpine QLD 50.0
Neoen Australia Pty Ltd Parkes Solar Farm Parkes NSW 46.0
Infigen Energy Manildra Solar Farm Manildra NSW 42.4
RATCH-Australia Corporation Limited Collinsville Solar Power Station Collinsville QLD 42.0
Infigen Energy Capital Solar Farm Bungendore NSW 39.0
SF Suntech Australia Pty Ltd Griffith Solar Farm Griffith NSW 33.9
Neoen Australia Pty Ltd Griffith Solar Farm Griffith NSW 26.4
Canadian Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd Oakey Solar Farm Oakey QLD 25.0
Neoen Australia Pty Ltd Dubbo Solar Hub Dubbo NSW 22.4
APA Group Emu Downs Solar Farm Cervantes WA 20.1
Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd White Rock Solar Farm Glen Innes NSW 20.0
Kennedy Energy Park Pty Ltd Kennedy Energy Park Hughenden QLD 19.2
Lyon Infrastructure Investments Pty Ltd Roxby Downs Solar Farm Roxby Downs SA 17.0
Canadian Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd Longreach Solar Farm Longreach QLD 15.0
Overland Sun Farming Company Pty Ltd Hughenden Sun Farm Hughenden QLD 14.2
EPHO Pty Ltd Gidginbung Solar Farm Temora NSW 12.2
juwi Renewable Energy Pty Ltd Ebenezer Solar Project Ipswich QLD 10.0

Hutchinson Builders spoke more about solar projects taking greater priority yesterday too. 

Queensland is perhaps understandably a prime location for solar power projects – and this was certainly the case with this latest round of applications. Out of the 22 plans to move to the next stage, 10 were based in the Sunshine State.

"We've got it all here in Queensland – not only the space and the sunshine, but the world-class technological and research facilities that can help position us a world-leader in large scale renewables as well as rooftop solar PV," noted State Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey.

The Clean Energy Australia Report 2014 identified Bundaberg in Queensland as the nation's solar capital. Other hotspots for sun-generated energy included Mandurah in Western Australia, followed by Hervey Bay, also in Queensland.

Although Queensland might be leading the way in terms of generation, it's not necessarily a standout performer when it comes to renewable energy usage. Around 95 per cent of energy used in Tasmania over the course of 2014 was renewable, followed by 40 per cent in South Australia.


Image Source: 'Large Scale Solar Photovoltaics' - Arena (full infograph available here). 

For those looking to put their bids forward, we’ve created a free eBook on 10 tips to successful tendering. The content of this eBook was developed from a QLD Government tendering workshop so be sure to download it below to get a thorough understanding of what's going to help your business stand out from the crowd. 

If you need to procure equipment quotes for your project, get in touch and we’ll dig you up rates for free.

Best of luck with the full applications (due in June 2016) for the project!

Sophia Rostron
As the Content editor at Felix (formerly PlantMiner), Sophia works behind the scenes to keep our blog machine in motion. A student of Law and Business, she's very dependent on coffee and loves any excuse to travel.

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