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Fortescue extends sunset on solar

solar farm

Fortescue and energy supplier Genex have pushed back the sunset date on their 25-year solar supply deal for the Gibson Island hydrogen project in Queensland.

The companies will now have until March 31 to complete a final financial investment decision, extended from February 28.

The extension is the second time Fortescue has pushed its final decision, announcing in early January it had moved from December 31 2023 to February 28 2024.

The new date for achieving financial close is set for April 30 2025. The deal was originally struck in October 2023.

Genex and its partner Electric Power Development (J-Power), with Solar Choice as a co-developer, are developing the Bulli Creek solar and battery project (BCP) in Queensland for an offtake for up to 337.5 megawatts of solar energy to Fortescue.

The deal enables Genex and J-POWER to commit to the first solar stage development at Bulli Creek at a minimum capacity of 450MW, with the deal providing a 75 per cent contracted revenue stream.

The energy will also be used for the operation of a green hydrogen and green ammonia facility in connection with its Gibson Island project in Brisbane.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Fortescue and supporting their plans for a large-scale electrolysis plant at Gibson Island, which we anticipate will help pave the way for a significant and prosperous green hydrogen and ammonia industry in Australia,” Genex chief executive officer Craig Francis said in October 2023.

Genex has advised that discussions with external parties for further solar offtake remain ongoing, which may allow the initial capacity of Bulli Creek to be increased by up to 775MW.

“Fortescue is committed and focused on supporting the rapid scaling of green technology to help heavy industry decarbonise and producing green hydrogen at scale is integral to that,” Fortescue Energy chief executive officer Mark Hutchinson said at the time of the deal.

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