Origin Energy on track for 2020 renewable target with South Australian solar deal

Origin Energy has reconfirmed its commitment to its 2020 renewable energy target with the announcement of its biggest ever solar deal which will see it buy all of the power generated by the South Australian Bungala Solar Project.

The Bungala project, located just outside Port Augusta, is set to be one of the nation's largest solar farms with an expected output of 220 megawatts (MW), which will go some way to helping Origin reach its 2020 target of 1,000-1,500 megawatts of large-scale renewable energy.

Frank Calabria, Origin CEO, stated that reaching the 1,000-1,500 MW target was a crucial step for the company in meeting the clean energy needs of Australian consumers and businesses.

“Origin is delighted to be an active supporter of Bungala Solar Project,” said Calabria.

“Bungala’s development will mean more jobs in Port Augusta and will also contribute to improved energy security in South Australia, as solar is a more predictable form of renewable energy than wind.”

In their 2016 Sustainability Report, Origin highlighted its role in combatting climate change and reducing global carbon emissions, with the 2020 renewable energy target just one their strategies.

“Energy markets around the world are in transition and Australia is no different,” said Calabria. 

“We must make sure our energy supply is secure, as Australian homes and businesses rely on it. At the same time, we must make sure energy continues to be affordable as we move Australia towards a cleaner supply.”

Construction on the Bungala project is likely to begin shortly now that Origin have provided a financial commitment to the site, with the plant’s entire 220 MW capacity expected to be operational by August 2018.

Origin stated that it expects to start receiving power from the solar farm in time for next summer, which could be crucial given South Australia’s much-publicised power problems over the 2016/17 summer.

“Recent events in South Australia have demonstrated the importance of energy security, and identified the need for sufficient backup from gas-fired generation to balance the intermittency of renewable energy,” said Calabria.

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