Lightsource bp to become largest solar developer and owner in Australia

  • Lightsource bp will reach financial close on its Wellington North and Wunghnu Solar Farms by the end of 2022, making it the largest solar developer and owner in Australia.
  • Construction through early work arrangements has begun on its Wellington North and Wunghnu projects and it has entered into Power Purchase Agreements with companies ENGIE, Orica and Mars Australia.
  • Lightsource bp is exploring other investment opportunities in the sector to complement solar, including battery storage, co-location of wind, and integration with green hydrogen production.

Lightsource bp, a global solar leader and 50:50 joint venture between Lightsource and bp, today announces it will reach financial close on its Wellington North and Wunghnu Solar Farms later this year, which will make the company the largest solar developer and owner in Australia*. Lightsource bp has commenced construction on Wellington North and Wunghnu through early work arrangements with engineering, procurement, and construction contractor Gransolar, and recently entered into Power Purchase Agreements with companies ENGIE, Orica and Mars Australia.

Lightsource bp has five projects in operation and under construction across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, totalling over 1GWp of generating capacity, which would be the equivalent to powering over 350,000 homes a year. Its West Wyalong and Woolooga Solar Farms are in advanced stages of construction and are due to be completed by the end of 2022, and its Wellington North and Wunghnu Solar Farms have begun early stages of construction and are due to be completed in 2024. Its 200MWp Wellington Solar Farm is now operational and is exporting power to the grid.

Adam Pegg, Managing Director, Lightsource bp Australia and New Zealand, said: “Since entering the Australian market just four years ago our business has grown rapidly in Australia and the region. We have a significant pipeline of large-scale solar projects underway, with more to come. This growth has been enabled by the strong support from our customers, lenders, and the local communities in which we operate, and we are extremely grateful for this backing and are proud to be front and centre in the clean energy transition in Australia.

“We have been able to deliver our projects managing major disruptions, including commodity price increases, escalating costs, supply chain disruptions, and COVID-19. Lightsource bp has been able to navigate and deliver high quality projects, demonstrating the strength and resilience of our people and business.

“Australia needs more clean, low-cost energy in the power system to drive down costs for consumers, meet rising demand, combat climate change, and improve energy independence. The outlook for solar in Australia and the region is incredibly strong, with increasing political support, greater investor certainty, and capital looking to participate in the sector.

“In addition to our solar ambitions, we are actively exploring other investment opportunities in the sector, and believe the hybridisation of renewables to complement solar – including battery storage, co-location of wind and integration with green hydrogen production – will be increasingly important to the future energy mix and in driving the energy transition.”

Lightsource bp’s total operational and planned projects in Australia and New Zealand now consists of over 4GWp of generating capacity. “We see the acceleration of renewables happening more rapidly than previously anticipated, and expect our operations in Australia to make a significant contribution to meeting Lightsource bp’s global target of 25GW of solar by 2025,” Adam Pegg added.

Andrew Hyland, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE Australia & New Zealand said: “Allied partnerships are critical in our journey to net zero, and ENGIE is pleased to partner with renewable asset developers like Lightsource bp to support our customers achieving their sustainability goals.”

Christopher Davis, Orica Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer said: “As part of our purpose to sustainably mobilise the earth’s resources, and our net zero ambition, we have set a target to source 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2040 for our global operations.

“We’re proud to be partnering with Lightsource bp on this exciting project to accelerate our transition to renewable electricity. By prioritising offsite renewable generation projects, we are spurring growth and jobs in the industry, while achieving our own sustainability goals.”

Bill Heague, Mars Food Australia General Manager said: “Mars Australia is thrilled to partner with Lightsource bp to expand the generation of renewable energy in Australia. We believe Mars has a responsibility to create a sustainable future for people, pets, and the planet, which is why we’ve committed to 100 percent renewable energy in our direct operations by 2040, and net zero across our value chain by 2050.”

Over the past 10 years, Lightsource bp has expanded into 18 new markets and regions, establishing itself as a global leader in solar energy. Lightsource bp places sustainability at the core of its activities and is committed to driving forward innovation in low-carbon technologies and integrating sustainable business practices into all levels of its activities.

About Lightsource bp

Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. Our purpose is to deliver affordable and sustainable solar power for businesses and communities around the world. Our team includes over 860 industry specialists, working across 18 countries. We provide full scope development for our projects, from initial site selection, financing and permitting through to long-term management of solar projects and power sales to our clients. For more information visit Lightsource bp, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or view our LinkedIn page.

*Calculated based on the total megawatts (MW) of solar generation capacity to have reached construction in Australia as of August 2022. Source: Rystad Energy

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