CEFC committed up to AU$20 million in cornerstone debt finance for the development of the Barcaldine Solar Farm in Central Queensland. The AU$69 million 20MW AC (25MW DC) solar farm is expected to generate enough power each year to satisfy the needs of around 5,300 households. The Barcaldine Solar Farm’s location on the fringe of the National Energy Market grid will significantly reduce network losses experienced by the current transmission feed from Clermont, which is about 660 kilometres to the east. In addition, it will demonstrate how building new capacity around the grid can lead to significant saving in grid expansion and upgrade costs.
The experience developed from building a solar PV farm in a fringe-of-grid area will demonstrate the potential for solar projects to increase the reliability and quality of power at fringe-of-grid locations. This experience can also provide useful lessons for the future rollout of off-grid remote area solar PV projects, such as those serving remote communities and mining operations.