Lightsource BP starts construction on solar projects in Australia

UK-based solar energy company Lightsource BP has begun construction on its solar projects in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland, Australia, after securing A$330m ($252m) in financing.

The West Wyalong and Woolooga solar projects will have the capacity to generate 673GWh of renewable electricity a year.

Export Development Canada (EDC), ING Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo and Westpac Institutional Bank provided financing for the projects.

The solar projects will generate enough renewable energy to power almost 100,000 Australian homes and offset 540,000mt of carbon emissions a year.

Lightsource BP Australia country manager Adam Pegg said: “Although Covid-19 has disrupted the energy landscape, we are proud to be able to start construction and complete the financing of two large solar projects on a subsidy-free basis.

“These projects demonstrate the resilience of solar as a sustainable solution to meeting the rising global energy demands.

“With 520MWdc under construction and more than 1.5GWdc in the pipeline, these investments now establish Lightsource BP as a leader in the Australian solar market.”

PCL Constructors Pacific Rim has already started works at the two sites under an early works agreement. The two projects, expected to enter the commercial operations phase next year, will support NSW and Queensland’s objectives to generate energy from renewable sources.

Queensland aims to generate 50% of clean energy from renewable sources by 2030, while NSW has pledged to construct 12GW of clean energy over the next ten years.

Together with Lightsource BP’s Wellington solar hub, the West Wyalong and Woolooga projects will contribute to the company’s pipeline of more than 1.5GWdc.

For this transaction, Lightsource BP was advised by Macquarie Capital and King and Wood Mallesons.

This week, the company won 140MWp of solar capacity in Greece in a solar and wind auction, through a co-development partnership with Greek energy company Kiefer TEK.