The $188 million dollar solar farm outside Wagga will be built sooner and with the same economic benefits to the region, according to the project's new owners.
Spark Infrastructure, one of the top 200 largest companies listed on the ASX, announced on Wednesday that it had acquired the Bomen project by purchasing it from Renew Estate.
Spark chief executive Rick Francis told The Daily Advertiser that the company had significant investments in power generation and transmission.
"We have been looking to invest in high-quality assets, in this case renewable energy, which is adjacent to our networks," he said.
"Renew Estate has identified this opportunity and we are keen to come in, We have acquired the project.
"Over the next 12 months we will be constructing the solar farm and investing very much in the Wagga community."
The Bomen Solar Farm was approved by the NSW government in October with plans to power the equivalent of 37,000 homes and save up to 210,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
The farm will be built on 250 hectares of industrial-zoned land about 10 kilometres north of Wagga, near other industrial developments.
Mr Francis said Spark would fund the solar farm's construction through Power Purchase Agreements.
About 26 per cent of the Bomen farm's power output for 10 years has been pre-purchased by Westpac as part of the bank's goal to use 100 per cent renewable energy.
Melbourne-based wholesaler Flow Power has also signed agreements with the Bomen Solar farm to supply its corporate clients in manufacturing, winemaking and water treatment.
Mr Francis said Spark and Westpac would make a "major investment in the community" and the construction was expected to employ 250 people.
"We are very much motivated to use local resources to assist in the construction," he said.
"Obviously that is things like installing solar panels, but there is a whole heap of electrical work to be done to link up the panels to the inverters and transformers.
"It's a great opportunity to work with a whole lot of young electrical subcontractors from the area.
"We will work with the local TAFE and its a great opportunity for apprenticeships."
Spark also has an investment in TransGrid, which owns the Wagga North substation that will likely connect the Bomen Solar Farm to the wider electricity grid.
Renew Estate director Simon Currie said the sale would ensure that construction would start soon rather than having to wait for new investors to fund the project cost.
"We are a solar and renewable energy developer; we go out and do the site finding and we secure the land and work to get the grid connections," he said.
"It has been a matter of pulling together the next two pieces, which has been the construction and the equity to fund it.
"We could have sat on this project and said sooner or later we'd find the money for it but that wasn't what we wanted to do. We wanted to push this forward into construction and deliver on our promise for local jobs."
Spark manages $17 billion worth of infrastructure assets including 49 per cent of electricity distributors SA Power Networks, CitiPower and Powercor.
Spark and Renew Estate have not disclosed the cash value of the project sale.
Spark has told investors that it expects the Bomen Solar Farm to generate an average annual revenue of more than $13 million for the first five years of operation.
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