ACEN Australia, a subsidiary of ACEN, has inked a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SmartestEnergy for the 400MW stage one of the 720MW New England Solar project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Under the eight-year agreement, SmartestEnergy will offtake 25% of the output generated by the first stage of the Australian solar project.

According to ACEN, the PPA will enable SmartestEnergy to reduce the need for electricity that could otherwise be obtained at a higher emissions intensity.

SmartestEnergy aims to deliver the renewable energy purchased from ACEN to commercial and industrial customers throughout Australia.

SmartestEnergy Australia CEO Robert Owens said: “Our goal is to help Australian businesses procure 100% renewable energy to fast-track their net zero journey, and we are very pleased to be able to partner with ACEN who is leading the sustainable energy landscape that integrates community prosperity.”

ACEN Australia officially opened the stage 1 of the New England Solar project in March last year.

Located on a 2,000ha site near Uralla in the New England Renewable Energy Zone, the Australian solar project is being developed in two stages.

Construction is now underway at full capacity for the second stage, which includes a 320MW installation, along with a 200MW/400MWh two-hour battery energy storage system (BESS).

Once fully operational, the New England Solar project is estimated to deliver clean energy to power nearly 300,000 Australian households every year.

ACEN Australia managing director David Pollington said: “We have a bold strategy to help Australia transition to a clean energy future, and we are excited by this first offtake with SmartestEnergy, enabling us to bring more renewable energy projects to life and clean electricity for Australian homes and businesses.”