The Germany energy company, Innogy, has begun initial construction of Australia’s largest solar farm.
The Limondale solar power plant – which will be located in Balranald, New South Wales – will have an installed capacity of 349 megawatts peak (MWp).
Preparation works and pre-pilling tests are currently underway, with construction works expected to commence this October.
Commissioning of the plant will take place progressively, with the plant expected to be operational by 2020.
The Innogy subsidiary, BELECTRIC, won the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the renewable farm, as well as being the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) service provider.
BELECTRIC is an experienced company in the global solar market with nearly two gigawatts of executed projects globally, including projects in Australia, and is among the world´s leading O&M providers in the sector.
In addition to Limondale, Innogy signed a contract to take over the project rights for the 115MWp Hillston Sun Farm in New South Wales in early 2018.
The planned investment volume of both projects – Limondale and Hillston – totals to more than €400 million (AU$650mn).
“It makes me proud that we can now start with the construction of our first utility-scale PV plant in Australia – one of the continents with the highest solar irradiation per square meter,” commented Hans Bünting, COO of Renewables at Innogy SE.
“To expand renewable energies it is of vital importance that beside the excellent yield the country is supportive for increasing the share of renewable energies.”
“Electricity prices in Australia have risen strongly over the past decade and are among the highest in the world,” added Thorsten Blanke, CEO of Innogy Renewables Australia Pty Ltd.
“An expansion of renewable energies can contribute towards reducing the energy costs for customers. Especially wind and solar are cost-effective alternatives in a country with excellent natural renewable resources.”