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AGL and SunDrive eyeing up PV manufacturing at former coal mining site in NSW


Australian utility AGL Energy Ltd (ASX:AGL) has joined hands with solar technology company SunDrive to probe the potential for building a photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in New South Wales.


The parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the initiative, which was announced on Thursday alongside the launch of the federal government’s AUD-1-billion (USD 652m/EUR 602m) Solar Sunshot program aimed at fostering domestic solar PV manufacturing through support, including production subsidies and grants.


Under the pact, AGL and SunDrive will explore the possibilities for developing a facility at the utility’s future Hunter Energy Hub in the state’s Hunter region, where it plans to add a combination of grid-scale batteries, solar thermal storage, wind and pumped-hydro capacity. A planned feasibility study should address major infrastructure and engineering requirements and identify the permits the project will need. If the results are positive, they will build what AGL says will be Australia’s first production base for commercial-size solar cells.


The arrangement also includes a potential offtake agreement for AGL to purchase SunDrive’s solar modules made at the new site.


The project is aligned with AGL’s plans to transform the sites of its shuttered Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power stations into a low-carbon energy hub.


(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.652/EUR 0.602)


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