ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell last week congratulated Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) on its announcement that it has achieved financial close for the Royalla Solar Farm project.
"This is important news for this major project, a year after FRV was granted a feed-in tariff as the sole winner of the fast-track stream of the ACT Government's large-scale solar auction," Mr Corbell said.
"All funding agreements are now in place for the project and FRV is able to start work on site. This demonstrates the financial viability of the project, at the low price of $186 per megawatt hour bid by FRV.
Mr Corbell said the announcement also proves the success of the solar auction process in creating competition and driving prices down, while ensuring projects remain viable and risks are appropriately balanced.
"Canberra has set an Australian benchmark for low-cost large-scale solar. When constructed, the 20MW solar power facility will be the largest photovoltaic solar farm built in Australia to date," Mr Corbell said.
FRV (Australia) Country Manager, Andrea Fontana, said the ACT Government's Solar Auction program had been a great success and demonstrated that such schemes produce very competitive delivery of low emission renewable energy.
The Royalla Solar Farm will be constructed by FRV in the Tuggeranong district, south of Canberra on the Monaro Highway. The project received development approval in July 2013.
Engineering and construction, which will be carried out by Acciona Energy Oceania (AEO), is due to start by the end of the year and scheduled for completion by mid-2014.
Last month, the ACT Government announced Zhenfa Solar and Elementus Energy were the joint winners of the solar auction regular stream, with feed-in tariff prices of $178 and $186 per megawatt hour respectively.
Together, the three projects are expected to reduce the ACT's greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million tonnes over 20 years and produce enough energy for approximately 10,000 Canberra homes each year.