Spark Infrastructure Announces Proposal to Develop a Renewable Energy Hub for up to 2.5GW in Australia

PVTIME - Spark Infrastructure announce that Spark Renewables has plans to develop a renewable energy generation and storage hub in South-West NSW for up to 2.5GW following the securing of lease options over land in the region.

Spark Renewables is owned 100% by Spark Infrastructure. Following the successful development and construction of its Bomen Solar Farm in NSW in 2020, and consistent with its Value Build strategic vision, Spark Infrastructure continues to actively and selectively explore opportunities in solar, wind and storage across the National Electricity Market (NEM) to complement its ongoing investment in networks.

The proposed Dina wan Energy Hub forms part of the previously disclosed renewables development pipeline that is currently under evaluation. Spark Renewables is proposing to develop, construct, own and operate the Dinawan Energy Hub – a hybrid wind, solar, and battery storage project to be situated in the heart of the South-West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in NSW. The proposed Dinawan Energy Hub is on the route of the recently committed Project EnergyConnect interconnector which will run between Wagga Wagga in NSW and Robertstown in South Australia, and is also strategically well positioned relative to the proposed HumeLink (Snowy Hydro 2.0) and VNI West (KerangLink) interconnectors.

If positively evaluated, the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub is expected to be developed in stages, and once fully complete could provide up to 2.5GW of renewable generation capacity. The clean renewable power from this new project will significantly offset the impact of coal fired power station closures in NSW. This is enough electricity to power more than one million Australian homes and offset more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum.

Spark Infrastructure Managing Director Rick Francis said “The proposed Dinawan Energy Hub is an exciting new project that will accelerate the development of new renewable generation in the South-West REZ through the establishment of this large, corner-stone project. It will unlock significant renewable generation capacity consisting of wind, solar, and battery energy storage across NSW in the coming years, providing resource diversity to renewable generation planned in the other REZ’s.”

“This proposed major new renewable project further underpins the need for new and expanded high-voltage transmission links within NSW and to Sydney which are crucial as the energy transition continues to accelerate in our quest for a sustainable energy future for Australia. While we are excited to be able to lead these types of projects, we would also consider suitable partnering or co-investment options should these deliver appropriate long-term value for our Securityholders”, he added.

The proposed project is in the early stages of planning with work to commence on preliminary studies and consultation in the coming months. There are no significant commitments in place and associated costs remain low at this stage. It is anticipated that construction of stage 1 would begin in 2024 with the first operations to commence in 2025. Spark Infrastructure expects that continued support of the distribution reinvestment plan currently in operation will provide sufficient capital to support its growth plans in conjunction with access to debt markets and co-investment options. These funding sources and capital management solutions will ensure sufficient reliable operating cash flows continue to be available to fund distributions to Securityholders going forward.

Head of Spark Renewables Anthony Marriner said “We are only at the start of the development process and the proposed project must undergo a rigorous planning and assessment process which includes environmental studies. We are also committed to extensive community and stakeholder consultation to identify the possible environmental, economic, and social impacts, as well as opportunities and mitigation measures.”

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