An Australian solar energy business has revealed it is looking to build the first-ever “pure energy” solar PV farm in the north-west, potentially bringing a $100 million (NZ$116 million) revenue boost to the region.
The company, Pure Energy Systems, said it had signed an agreement with the NT Government to construct a 150-megawatt (MW) solar power project in north-eastern Queensland, which will have an estimated annual electricity generation capacity of 10,000 megawatts (MW).
The project will include an “advanced microgrid” and a large rooftop solar farm, Pure Power said in a statement on Monday.
It would be the first of its kind in the world, the company said.
Pure Energy Systems is based in the southern part of Queensland, but it has since expanded to include an estimated 2,000 MW of solar energy capacity in the Northern Territory.
Its solar projects have seen a boom in recent years, especially in the area of the state’s far north.
The Queensland Government is investing $1 billion into the area, with the first phase of the project due to be completed in 2019.
“We are looking to bring this project to market as soon as possible,” Pure Energy spokesman James Taylor said.
“The state government has a long-term commitment to the Northern Territorians for this project, and we believe we have the best of the best in terms of solar technology.”
The company is working with NT Energy, which owns about 30 per cent of Pure Energy, and NT’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development (DTRIRD), the company added.NT Energy is currently working with other partners on a further 20MW solar projects in the region, Pure said.
The project would be located in the Koolau-Rooe area of northern Queensland.
“As part of this agreement, we have been asked to enter into a long term supply agreement with NT,” Pure said in the statement.
“This means we can supply power to the NT market for a further 25 years.”
The NT Government said it was pleased to see the company was pursuing the project.
“It is fantastic to see Pure Energy developing a large scale solar project in this area and helping the people of Queensland get on the right track for a more reliable energy future,” NT Premier Colin Barnett said in statement.NT Minister for Environment and Energy, Mark Wiley, said Pure Energy’s project would “provide clean and affordable energy to more than 50,000 customers across the north”.
“As the largest PV manufacturer in the country, Pure is keen to help create jobs in the regional economy, and has already secured an investment from the NT government,” he said.”[The] project will provide high-quality solar power to thousands of people in the remote and remote-offshore regions of Queensland.
The project will also be a major contribution to the economic recovery of the NT.”
The project is part of a wider NT Government effort to help boost the local economy, Mr Wiley said.
He said the government would work closely with the community to “develop and implement a regional solar plan that will generate jobs and generate jobs for our residents”.