Fortescue secures solar PPA for Gibson island project

Fortescue Metals Group has announced that its subsidiary has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to meet a portion of the renewable energy requirements for the planned Gibson Island Project in Brisbane. The PPA, which has been secured with a subsidiary of Genex Power Limited, guarantees access to 337.5 MW of new solar energy.

This solar energy will be sourced from the initial phase of Genex’s Bulli Creek Solar Project in Queensland, a collaborative effort with Electric Power Development Co., Ltd (J-POWER). Under the terms of the agreement, Fortescue will have the rights to this solar energy and the associated renewable generating certificates for a duration of 25 years, all at an agreed-upon fixed price.

However, the effectiveness of this PPA is subject to certain conditions, including Fortescue’s final investment decisions regarding the Gibson Island Project by December 31, 2023, and Genex achieving financial closure for the first phase of its Bulli Creek Solar Project by December 31, 2024. The Gibson Island Project’s objective is to produce approximately 385,000 tonnes of green ammonia annually, utilising green hydrogen generated on-site through a 550MW hydrogen electrolysis facility.

Fortescue Energy CEO Mark Hutchinson said the agreement is the first for the project, and finalising it will mark a significant milestone in the company’s pursuit of a targeted final investment decision this year.

“By entering this agreement we’re also helping Genex and J-POWER to deliver their project and bring new renewable energy capacity online in Queensland – close to 115MW from this first stage is surplus to our contracted share and will therefore flow back into the electricity grid,” he added.

“Genex and J-POWER anticipate the agreement with Fortescue will underpin a solar farm capacity of 450MW, with long-term nature of the agreement highly attractive for prospective project financiers. Discussions are continuing with external parties for further offtake to support a solar farm capacity of up to 775MW for this first stage of the project. This would position the Bulli Creek Solar Farm as the largest solar farm connected to the National Electricity Market,” Genex CEO Craig Francis said.

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