Shoalhaven Solar Farm Development Progressing
Exciting News!!!! Repower Shoalhaven has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Flow Power to co-develop a 3MWac solar farm for the Shoalhaven. Flow Power is a substantial electricity retailer operating in Victoria and NSW focussing on renewable energy. The goal of the arrangement is for Repower Shoalhaven and Flow Power to participate in the development of a 3MWac solar farm located on Nowra Hill Road, off BTU Road, on land leased from Shoalhaven City Council.
Unlike previous Repower Shoalhaven solar projects this will be a ‘front of the meter’ scheme, with solar power sold to businesses via power purchase agreements.
Flow Power are providing substantial support for the pre commitment works for this community-initiated scheme. Repower Shoalhaven will undertake a capital raising to fund its portion of the solar farm following the verification of the financial viability of the project. This is anticipated to occur by June 2020. When the solar farm is operational, Flow Power will on-sell 100% the electricity generated.
There are a lot of tasks to work through to get the solar farm ‘shovel ready’. The current status of these tasks are:
- A comprehensive Development Application has been lodged with Shoalhaven City Council and is currently being evaluated by Council officers and other stakeholders.
- A long-term lease agreement is being finalised between Flow Power and Shoalhaven City Council to utilise degraded land in South Nowra for the solar farm.
- Flow Power is progressing through the details to finalise approval from Endeavour Energy to connect to the local electricity grid (high voltage network).
- Detailed site geotechnical and engineering studies are being undertaken to help determine the best structure for the large solar arrays.
- The Repower Shoalhaven (RS) solar farm sub-committee has recommended a community investment structure (Special Purpose Vehicle) similar to those used for the seven existing RS investment companies. Legal advice will be sought on how to structure the solar farm SPV and investment offerings.
- Flow Power have arranged for a portion of the power to be generated from the Shoalhaven solar farm to be purchased by the City of Sydney as a component of a contract with Flow Power to purchase 100% renewable energy from July 2020. The supply to the City of Sydney represents about 10% of the generated output of the Shoalhaven solar farm and is conditional on the Shoalhaven scheme being completed.
- The primary customers for the energy generated from the Shoalhaven solar farm are local commercial and industrial businesses. Flow Power have a unique offering aimed at enabling a low-cost sustainable supply, including demand management activities.
- We are planning for the viability of the scheme to be determined by June 2020 when all costs and forecast incomes have been fully established. The community capital raising will proceed only after the project is demonstrated to be commercially viable.
- If the project is demonstrated to be viable, then we move our focus to planning for procurement and construction of the solar farm. The timing of these will be influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic’s impacts on global financial markets and the Australian dollar exchange rate.
If you require further information please contact Bob Hayward, convener of the Solar farm Sub-Committee.