Yarranlea Solar Farm is an innovative large-scale solar farm located in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, about 50 km west of Toowoomba. Covering an area of approximately 250 ha, it will have a generation capacity of approximately 102.5 MW (AC), sufficient to power up to 32,000 homes. It will be connected to the power grid using the existing Ergon Energy infrastructure, which is located adjacent to the development site.
The project development team is working closely with the local community to deliver the project with minimal disruption. Local resources are being utilised wherever possible, and the farm will contribute to the state’s green footprint in support of the Queensland Government’s Green Policy.
Construction commenced in May 2018 and the solar farm is expected to be completed in October 2019.
Innovative Australian Technologies
Yarranlea Solar Farm will incorporate new, world-leading technologies developed in Australia. The large-scale hybrid energy storage system, which includes lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, will be the first in the world to store surplus generated electricity for future discharge during periods of peak demand or low output.
This integrated system will be tested on 5 MW solar farms – once trials are complete, Providence Asset Group will develop a 35-40 MW storage solution at Yarranlea. This will take place within three years of the farm being commissioned.
AI-based control will also be integral to Yarranlea Solar Farm. This emerging technology enables production of a continuous and reliable supply of solar energy, with the safe and efficient transport and storage of hydrogen assured.
It is anticipated that these Australian-made technologies will create economic value well in excess of the project investment.
The Green Infrastructure Opportunity
Australian green infrastructure projects are presenting institutional investors with an increasing number of opportunities. It is apparent that investment in clean infrastructure is the most effective way to meet Australia’s current climate targets, while preparing for the possibility of higher international emissions goals in the future.
Additional momentum will ensure that the current transition from emissions-intensive infrastructure to cleaner, greener assets is sufficient to meet Paris Agreement targets. A significant increase in capital will broaden the economic base, supporting sustainable economic development and technological innovation, while improving social wellbeing through the move towards cleaner urban environments.
Who’s saying what?
Ian Learmonth, CEO, CEFC:
“As a core investor in Australia’s green bond market, we are seeing growing interest from superannuation funds and managers who want to deepen their exposure to sustainable assets. This is essential if we are to achieve our national emissions reduction goals in the infrastructure sector and beyond.”
“We are confident an increasing focus from underlying investors, along with improved sophistication and understanding of fund managers, and increased diversity of supply, can attract more investor support for this critical investment class.”
Lyn Cobley, Chief Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank:
“Westpac recognises that climate change is an economic issue as well as an environmental issue, and banks have an important role to play in assisting the Australian and New Zealand economies transition to net zero emissions. Increasing green bonds, green loans and green underwriting is a vital part of the mix, as is supporting new issuers to come to market.”
John Pickhaver, Co-Head of Macquarie Capital, Australia and New Zealand:
“There is increasing focus in the infrastructure investment community on the opportunities that green investment brings. Across renewable energy, sustainable transport, green buildings and communities; financial investors, corporates and governments are all looking for ways to facilitate and participate in the transition to a low carbon economy.”