Spain-based solar developer X-Elio announced it has signed a 10-year renewable energy virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) to power the operations of U.S. software firm Salesforce in Australia with solar energy from its 200 MW Blue Grass solar farm in the Western Downs region of Queensland.
The 200 MW Blue Grass solar farm, currently under construction, is X-Elio’s first and largest solar farm development in Australia and it is expected to be fully operational in late 2021.
The project will deliver 420 GWh of green energy annually, powering 80,000 Queensland homes and offsetting more than 320,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. It will also create up to 400 new construction jobs and deliver more than $200 million in capital investment in Queensland. In addition to the economic and social benefits of the project for the region, X-Elio will dedicate a percentage of the Blue Grass solar farm’s annual gross income to a Community Support and Benefit Sharing Program.
This VPPA agreement, which is Salesforce’s first renewable energy offtake agreement in Australia, will support Salesforce’s objective to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2022. The megawatts contracted under the VPPA are estimated to effectively displace 80,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year over the life of the agreement. The Blue Grass project will supply generation certificates to meet Salesforce’s renewable energy requirements.
X-Elio states that it has strategic ambitions to expand its footprint in Australia’s renewables market across the East Coast, with 400MW of pipeline currently in development.
Source: Press release by X-Elio. Photo credit: X-Elio.