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Origin sells Darling Downs Solar Farm for $200m

ORIGIN sold its Darling Downs Solar project for about $200 million to drive down the company's existing debt, according to reports.

Further details have been revealed about the sale of the renewable energy project, which is expected to be built in 2018 outside Chinchilla.

As part of the company's power purchase agreement with new owners APA Group, Origin will buy back all energy produced from the 110-gigawatt farm after it's finished next year.

Origin reportedly decided to sell the upcoming farm after oil prices collapsed several years ago, while the project was still in its infancy.

A source close to the company said the sale would help Origin pay down its own debt, while also keeping its government commitment of 20% energy produced by 2020.

A spokesman for APA Group confirmed the $200 million acquisition and development cost of the project, saying it saw the solar farm as a worthwhile investment in renewable energy.

"APA continues to grow its capabilities in owning and operating significant energy infrastructure as part of its growth strategy," he said.

"The Darling Downs project sits well with APA's successful and sustainable investment criteria as the output is underwritten by a long term contract with one of our existing customers and the investment meets APA's return criteria.

"As Australia's leading energy infrastructure business, APA sees investing in renewable energy as key to supporting Australia's transition to a lower carbon economy."

Lead contractor RCR Tomlinson will continue to the build the project.

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