Origin Energy has agreed to buy the electricity produced by the Moree Solar Farm in northern New South Wales for a 15-year period, showing that confidence is beginning to return to the Australian renewable energy industry.

According to a report from AAP, shares in Origin rose on the back of the deal with Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) – the developer of the Moree Solar Farm – along with a renewed commitment from the company to its cost-cutting targets.

Clean Energy Council Policy Manager Darren Gladman said the appetite for Australian renewable energy was growing, among domestic and international investors.

“There is lots of activity behind the scenes in renewable energy projects, and hopefully this will be the first of many deals we see this year,” he said.  

FRV Country Manager Cameron Garnsworthy said the agreement “demonstrates that stability is finally starting to return to the Australian renewable energy market”.   

“In Australia FRV has now successfully delivered the Royalla and Moree Solar projects, and aims to be a major contributor to the growth in the renewables sector with over 300MW of solar projects approved in Queensland,” Mr Garnsworthy said.

“With a more stable renewable energy investment environment starting to return to the Australian market, FRV’s confidence in being able to successfully deliver these projects has increased.

Origin Energy’s  Head of Energy Markets told Fairfax Media there had never been a better time for the company to pursue large-scale solar opportunities.