Neoen, a renewable energy producer, has completed securing finance for its 460MW Western Downs Green Power Hub solar plant located in South West Queensland, Australia.

Owned entirely by Neoen, the solar plant will deliver electricity generated by it to Powerlink’s transmission network.

Western Downs Green Power Hub will be constructed with a total investment of A$600m ($427.6m).

Debt financing for the project has been provided by a syndicate of seven lenders including Natixis, Société Générale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, NORD/LB, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Five months ago, Neoen had secured a 352MW power purchase agreement with CleanCo Queensland, one of the largest in the country till date.

The project will help CleanCo to achieve 30% of its 1GW of renewable energy generation by 2025. The company further aims to achieve 50% of the state’s renewable energy target by 2030, while creating new jobs and investment in the region.

Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said: “We are delighted to announce that Western Downs Green Power Hub has reached this important financial milestone. It represents a major achievement in a challenging environment. I would like to congratulate the team and thank our bank group and advisors for their trust and commitment.

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with CleanCo and Powerlink and we’re looking forward to playing our part in helping Queensland reach its ambitious target of 50% renewable energy by 2030.”

Western Downs Green Power Hub to create more than 400 jobs during construction phase

Sterling & Wilson has been appointed as the solar plant’s Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contractor in May this year and the design and engineering works started in the following month.

Construction is expected to take one year and operations are schedule to begin in 2022.

During the construction phase, the project is expected to create more than 400 jobs in the local area and South West Queensland region.

When it begins operations, the solar plant could generate enough electricity to power 235,000 Australian homes with clean energy annually.

CleanCo Queensland CEO Maia Schweizer said: “We are thrilled to be involved in the Western Downs Green Power Hub, which will help drive electricity affordability and create regional growth and jobs for Queenslanders.

“Generation from projects like the Western Downs Green Power Hub and our portfolio of hydro and gas allows us to supply reliable clean energy products tailored to commercial and industrial customers at competitive prices.”