Large-scale solar photovoltaics – competitive round
ARENA is playing a vital role providing bridge funding for projects that will make large-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) more competitive by increasing confidence and building supply chains.
This competitive funding round has already reduced costs through competitive tension and encouraged a portfolio of new Australian solar plants to proceed to more advanced stages of planning and development.
In line with our investment priorities and part of the Advancing Renewables Program (ARP), this round aims to support further cost reduction in large-scale solar PV. Growth in the local large-scale solar PV sector will provide a significant boost for Australia’s regional economy, with our competitive funding round estimated to create upwards of 1000 new jobs in construction, manufacturing and civil engineering.
Projects invited to submit a full application
20 high merit projects proposals have been submitted, seeking $211 million funding towards $1.6 billion worth of projects with 757 MWs of total capacity. The increasing competitiveness of these projects is reflected in the amount of funding needed, which fell from $1.60 in 2014 to 43 cents per watt in the expression-of-interest phase in November 2015. This need fell again by more than a third to an average of 28 cents per watt in the full applications submitted June 2016.
ARENA has worked closely with State Governments and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which will be providing debt financing, in developing this funding round.
Detailed due diligence and merit assessment analysis of the 20 applications is now being undertaken. ARENA expects to announce the successful projects in September this year.
|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|
|Genex Power Limited||Kidston Solar Project||Kidston||QLD||50.0|
|KCSF Consortium||Kelsey Creek 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||Riverina 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|
|Lyon Infrastructure Investments Pty Ltd||Kingfisher solar storage project||Far northern South Australia||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|
|Whitsunday Solar Farm Pty Ltd (sponsored by Edify Energy and Solar Choice)||Whitsunday Solar Farm||Collinsville||QLD||52.8|
Expressions of Interest (EOIs) closed on 2 November 2015. Applicants were notified in writing of the outcome of the EOI assessment by 16 December 2015.
Successful applicants at the EOI stage have been be provided with further details about the full application process.
Full applications were received 15 June 2016, and are currently being assessed.
Scope of activity
The large-scale solar competitive round will support activities that fit within the following parameters:
- projects must generate all their electricity from solar PV
- projects must be able to demonstrate a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of below $135/MWh (calculated in accordance with the ARENA LCOE calculator (XLS 298KB))
- projects must meet or exceed the minimum project size of 5 MW (AC)
- total grant funding requested for a project must not exceed $30 million
- projects must be connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) or the South West Interconnected System (SWIS)
- projects must not involve behind the meter elements.
Large-scale solar PV (defined as greater than 5MW) remains in its infancy in Australia with only 4 projects commissioned and a further 4 under construction.
When the projects currently under construction are complete, installed capacity of large-scale PV will total 262 MW. This is well behind the installed capacity of comparable international markets.
ARENA has observed significant cost reduction in large-scale solar PV over the past few years and expects this to continue due to a combination of international and local improvements.
The cost trajectory of large-scale solar PV is expected to see the technology become competitive without additional support within the medium term.
The competitive round is expected to be critical in supporting this outcome by helping to close the current cost gap that exists between large-scale solar PV and other commercially competitive forms of power generation, including wind energy.
- Updated Funding Announcement (PDF 280KB) | (DOCX 159KB)
- Competitive Round full application stage Q&A 10 June 2016 update (PDF 669KB) | (DOCX 41KB)
- EOI application data
- Funding Agreement template – Explanatory Memorandum (PDF 22KB) | (DOCX 104KB)
- Funding Agreement template (PDF 2MB) | (DOCX 598KB)
- ARENA LCOE calculator (XLS 298KB)
- Large-scale solar knowledge sharing: How project data is collected and shared (PDF 100KB) | (DOCX 27KB)
- Data specification (XLS 37KB)
- Compliance table template (PDF 66KB) | (DOCX 142KB)
- Competitive Round pro forma bid bond document (PDF 81KB) | (DOCX 39KB)
- 22 June 2016: Project proposals show shrinking cost of big solar
- 14 January 2016: ARENA selects 22 large-scale solar projects to take next step
- 17 November 2015: ARENA’s large-scale solar round attracts serious interest
- 9 September 2015: $350m to kick start new large-scale solar projects
- 14 July 2014: ARENA announces new priorities
For more information:
- Phone: 1800 804 847
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.