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Origin awards contract for 200MW Queensland solar farm

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PV Magazine

Queensland could be the site of Australia's largest solar farm. Bertknot/Wikipedia

Queensland could be the site of Australia’s largest solar farm. Bertknot/Wikipedia

Origin Energy has awarded an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract to engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson Ltd for a 200MW solar farm, however the project still needs to secure grant funding from ARENA and pass a final investment decision.

With Queensland already testing new ways to integrate more solar energy into its grid, it comes as positive news that plans to build a potential 200MW PV plant are moving forward.

The Australian engineering and infrastructure company will now provide design and engineering expertise for the proposed project in Dalby, Queensland, which, if realized, will become Australia’s largest PV plant.

The ECI is the next step to getting the Origin Energy project off the ground, but it still needs to pass various regulatory approvals, be awarded grant funding by the Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and receive a favorable final investment decision by Origin Energy. However, RCR seems confident that it will achieve these measures, which would then see the company enter into a Design and Construct contract for the development of the large-scale solar farm.

“We are delighted to have been selected by Origin to participate in the design and development of this major solar farm project,” said RCR’s managing director Paul Dalgleish. “The project leverages our intellectual capital in the design and construction of large-scale energy generation assets and our experience on a recently completed solar farm project.”

If completed, the solar farm will be adjacent to the Darling Downs Power Station, a gas fired station with an existing capacity of 630MW. This could offer a number of benefits to the PV site, such as the existing infrastructure that is in place.

ARENA has been supporting the development of solar plants in different areas of Queensland, but particularly in the northeast of the state, where the electricity supply is often unreliable. ARENA hopes to demonstrate the role that solar can play in these more remote areas.

Source: PV Magazine. Reproduced with permission.

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