Eni enters Australia's renewable energy market

Eni enters Australia's renewable energy market

Italian energy giant Eni's Australian subsidiary Eni Australia has bought a construction-ready solar photovoltaic project near Katherine, in the Northern Territory from Katherine Solar Pty, a joint venture between Australia’s Epuron and the UK-based Island Green Power, Eni said Tuesday in a statement.

"This initiative marks Eni’s entry in the Australian renewables market and compliments the company’s existing assets in the region’s oil and gas sector," Eni stated.

The building of the PV farm is expected to start in the next few weeks, with an expected commercial operation date in the fourth quarter of 2019, said Eni's statement.

Once completed, the project will be the largest PV farm in the Northern Territory, consisting of the installation of 33.7 MWp (Mega Watt peak) of ground-mounted PV panels, as well as a battery storage system with a capacity of 5.7 MVA/2.9MWh (Mega Volt Ampere and Mega Watt hour), the statement said.

To ensure optimum operational performance, an innovative cloud coverage predicting technology will also be installed. Thanks to these technologies, the plant will be able to forecast and compensate for possible variations in solar irradiation by taking energy from a storage system so as to minimize the impact to the grid, according to Eni.

The PV farm will help the Northern Territory’s government hit its target of sourcing 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030, and once it is operational will avoid around 63.000 tonnes/year of CO2 equivalent emissions, Eni stated.

Epuron will have an active role in managing the PV farm once it is operational, Eni said in the statement.

Eni has had a presence in Australia since 2000 through its subsidiary Eni Australia Ltd . It is the operator and 100% owner of the Blacktip Gas Project and has a non-operated interest in the Bayu-Undan gas and condensate field and in the associated Darwin LNG plant, the company said.