Power purchase deal reached

By Country News

Steel company BlueScope has partnered with ESCO Pacific, the company behind the Finley solar farm, to announce a seven-year Power Purchase Agreement.

The agreement, which is the largest corporate PPA announced with a solar farm in Australia, will see BlueScope offtake 66 per cent of the 175MW of energy generated from the 300ha 500000 solar panel farm in Finley, which was signed off by the NSW Government in February.

‘‘This PPA is one of Australia’s largest corporate offtake agreements, which provide the reliable electricity supply we need for manufacturing processes that must operate 24/7,’’ BlueScope’s Australian steel products chief executive John Nowlan said.

‘‘The PPA will help keep downward pressure on our energy costs, and will support the gradual transition to renewable energy.’’

ESCO Pacific chose the site, on Canalla Rd adjacent to the Finley substation, as an ideal location for a solar farm due to its high solar resource and direct connection to the existing substation.

According to ESCO Pacific managing director Steven Rademaker, these factors were critical in helping to deliver to BlueScope a cost-effective solar corporate PPA.

‘‘ESCO Pacific is delighted to be partnering with BlueScope, an iconic Australian company that has identified the substantial energy cost savings that a solar corporate PPA can deliver to its business.’’

As a result of this PPA, the Finley Solar Farm will begin construction later this year, employing 130 people during the construction phase, and is expected to start generating electricity in mid-2019.

Once completed, it will generate enough electricity to power 60000 homes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 300000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking 90000 cars off the road.