Photon Energy N.V. (WSE: PEN, the 'Group' or'Company') announces that its fully-owned project companies Leeton Solar Farm Pty Ltd. and Fivebough Solar Farm Pty Ltd. havesigned agreements with Infradebt for the project debt financing oftwo PV power plants with a combined installed capacity of 14 MWp in Leeton, New South Wales.
‘These are the two largest projects to be added to PhotonEnergy’s portfolio to date, and our first merchant projectsproviding competitive energy into the market. The experience wegain in operating the power plants will be used to maximise revenues in the energy market,’ said Michael Gartner, CTO of the Group and Managing Director of Photon Energy Australia.
Photon Energy has a full-lifecycle approach to PV power plants,and in accordance with this, both projects have been developedin-house and will represent the first Australian utility-scale PVpower plants in the Group’s IPP portfolio. Photon EnergyEngineering Australia Pty Ltd. will act as engineering, procurementand construction (EPC) contractor for both projects. Commissioningis expected in Q4 2020, after which long-term O&M services willbe provided by Photon Energy Operations Australia Pty Ltd.
Each power plant has a grid connection capacity of 4.95 MWp ACand an installed capacity of 7 MWp DC. The plants’ bi-facial PVmodules will be mounted on single-axis trackers and will supply theproduced electricity to Essential Energy’s distribution network asnon-scheduled generators. The combined annual electricityproduction of both PV power plants is forecast to be 26.8 GWh, andwill be sold on the National Electricity Market on a merchantbasis, as will the Large Generation Certificates (LGCs) generatedby the plants. This means that no power purchase agreements (PPAs)have been entered into by Photon Energy. PPAs may, however, play arole in the plants’ future revenue management strategy, alongsideother price-hedging options.
‘We will be actively managing the plants in response to changesin market pricing, as well as planning for the addition of energystorage, to enable the plants to position themselves in the marketas it transitions from centralised fossil-fuel-burning power plantsto distributed low cost renewables,’ concluded Michael Gartner.
The Leeton and Fivebough PV power plants will be located on theoutskirts of Leeton, in the heart of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. The region is one of the most diverse in Australia, famous for the production of citrus fruits and wine. It is also an area of significant energy use, which has traditionally imported energy from large coal power plants located hundreds of kilometres away.
‘Today is another milestone for Photon Energy, with the start ofconstruction on the first two utility-scale power plants inAustralia to be added to our portfolio, which will help the Groupin reducing the seasonality of electricity-generation revenues globally. Our merchant approach in Australia paves the way forgrid-competitive assets to be developed and added to our European markets and elsewhere in the world. In these challenging times, weare proud that our Australian team has made another major achievement, representing an important step towards the implementation of our development strategy’, added Georg Hotar, CEOof Photon Energy.
‘Infradebt is pleased to finalise its part in financing theLeeton Solar Farms. We have worked closely with Photon Energy overthe past few months to provide a senior debt facility that supports their strategy in Australia. We look forward to working with PhotonEnergy in the future and assisting them with their future development pipeline,’ said Alexander Austin, CEO ofInfradebt.
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