Sydney-based renewables developer MPower has acquired a 5 MW solar project in Faraday, about 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. The company says the acquisition followed an extensive period of working with the project’s initial developer, Tetris Energy, and local authorities to bring the project to shovel-ready status.
The acquisition builds on MPower’s Build-Own-Operate strategy, through which it plans to establish a distributed portfolio of “exempt” solar energy and battery storage projects across Australia. MPower says it currently has binding Asset Purchase Agreements for two similar projects in New South Wales and Victoria, both of which are approaching shovel-ready status.
“The Faraday site is directly aligned with our stated strategy to build a network of efficient 5 MW projects that can supply stable clean energy to regional areas,” MPower CEO Nathan Wise said.
This focus on the mid-scale segment is growing in Australia, with projects of 5 MW or less being particularly attractive as they can avoid more protracted and precarious grid connection processes.
The sub-5 MW strategy has been deployed by companies including Yes Group and SEI, as well as Green Gold Energy. Speaking during the 2022 All Energy Conference in Melbourne, the team at Green Gold told pv magazine Australia it can take just six to 12 months to develop and realise these mid-scale projects, with the company noting the ease of development makes them valuable assets.
According to MPower, each 5 MW project has an approximate capital cost of $10 million (USD 7 million) including all development and construction costs required to commence generating revenue from the sale of clean energy.
MPower said the total consideration for its Faraday Renewable Energy Project comprised a purchase price of $462,000 including GST.
“Pending the commencement of construction and the finalisation of longer-term financing arrangements, the purchase price has in the interim been 100% funded by an unsecured loan to the project entity from MPower’s largest shareholder, Tag Private Pty Limited, an entity associated with MPower Chairman Peter Wise and CEO Nathan Wise,” the company said.
The Faraday project covers a land area of 14 hectares and will deploy over 11,000 bifacial modules. It is expected to generate 11,500 MWh of electricity per annum.