innogy SE has begun construction on Australia’s largest solar project.
Following the completion of the acquisition in mid-September, the company has taken the final investment decision for the 349MW Limondale solar plant, located near Balranald, New South Wales.
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 full commercial operation expected in mid-2020.
“It makes me proud 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 metre,” innogy SE COO Renewables Hans Bünting said.
“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.”
innogy’s subsidiary BELECTRIC is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of the solar farm, as well as the operation and maintenance (O&M) service provider.
In addition to Limondale, innogy has signed a contract to take over the project rights for the NSW development project Hillston in early 2018, with a planned capacity of 115MWp.
The planned investment volume of both projects – Limondale and Hillston – totals to more than $650 million.
“Electricity prices in Australia have risen strongly over the past decade and are among the highest in the world,” innogy Renewables Australia CEO Thorsten Blanke said.
“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.”