Terrain Solar (Terrain), together with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have agreed to sell a sizeable solar farm to the University of Queensland (UQ).

The announcement of this landmark transaction follows the successful approval of the project’s development application by the Southern Downs Regional Council and represents the first major milestone as Terrain and UQ work together under the sale agreement to develop the project through to construction.

Construction of the 64MW Warwick Solar Farm, located approximately 5km north of the Warwick town centre in South East Queensland, is anticipated to commence in the coming months with energy expected to be exported into the grid by the third quarter of 2019. Once fully operational, the solar farm will generate up to 154,000MWh of renewable energy, displacing 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum.

While UQ are already a leader in the renewable energy industry with more than seven years of experience managing behind-the-meter PV solar assets at their campuses in Brisbane and Gatton, the investment in the Warwick Solar Farm will be a significant step change in UQ’s commitment to renewable energy.

The Warwick Solar Farm initiative will see UQ take on the role of both energy user as well as builder, owner, and operator of the renewable energy generator for the full 25-year economic life of the asset. At this scale UQ’s investment will represent a ‘first of its kind’ approach by a domestic entity in managing its energy costs and environmental commitments and will make UQ the first major university in the world to offset 100 per cent of its electricity usage through its own renewable energy asset.

The groundbreaking transaction is further evidence of the disruption to the domestic energy market and demonstrates the continued growth of PV solar in Queensland. It also brings into sharp focus the innovative solutions being developed by intensive energy users across the corporate, tertiary and local government sectors to reign in spiralling energy costs.

Terrain Solar were assisted by professional services firm PwC, who continue to act as lead advisor on the development of the Warwick Solar Farm.

PwC were involved from early stage negotiations of land and feasibility analysis and will continue to advise Terrain through to Financial Close.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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