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Saudi energy firm inks deal for Australian solar farm

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a developer of large-scale solar power plants and part of Saudi-based Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, has signed a power purchase agreement for the Lilyvale Solar Farm in Queensland, Australia.

The deal with Ergon Energy, the Queensland Government-owned electricity retailer, will see Ergon Energy purchase 100 percent of the electricity and all large scale renewable energy certificates (LRECs) generated by FRV’s 100MW Lilyvale Solar Farm project.

The agreement will be effective once the solar facility begins operation, expected to be towards the end of 2018, and run until 2030.

The proposed Lilyvale solar farm is located 50 kilometres North East of Emerald in the Queensland Central Highlands region, known for its many coal mines and cattle farming industry.

The project’s location near to major existing network infrastructure makes it ideal for connecting the solar farm to the national electricity grid, FRV said in a statement.

The project received approval in September 2015, with construction set to begin mid-2017 and expected to take 12-16 months. FRV estimates up to 200 workers will be needed to complete Lilyvale Solar Farm’s construction. It is expected to power approximately 45,000 homes.

The announcement is the third power purchase agreement that FRV has signed in Australia within the last 12 months, following deals with Origin Energy for the Moree Solar Farm in New South Wales and the Clare Solar Farm, near Ayr in North Queensland.

FRV’s Chief Executive Officer, Rafael Benjumea, said: “FRV continues to demonstrate strong performance in securing long-term power purchase agreements to underpin its landmark solar power projects in Australia.”

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