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Australia’s largest solar farm – 220MW – under construction

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The title of Australia’s largest solar farm under construction will switch from Queensland to South Australia this week when Reach Solar issues a notice to proceed with the second stage of its Bungala solar farm near Port Augusta.

australia solar farm

The company began construction and the grid connection of its first 110MW stage back in April, after reaching financial close and a obtaining a power purchase agreement from Origin Energy.

This week, the second stage – also 110MW – will effectively begin construction, putting it ahead of a handful of 100MW projects in Queensland (such as Sun Metals’ 116MW solar project and the 140MW Clare solar project, and making it the largest solar farm actually under construction in Australia.

The solar farm is being built just 12kms east of Port Augusta, where the last coal fired generator was shut down early last year, and could be added to if the company wins a government tender for “dispatchable” generation that could add another 80MW of solar and battery storage.

Another major project, the 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, has also signed a major contract and will be built near Port Augusta, while numerous other projects in the area are also on the planning table.

Reach Energy earlier this year agreed to sell the solar farm to two of Europe’s biggest investors in renewables, Italy’s Enel Green Energy and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

Reach Energy is headed by Tony Concannon, the former head of the owners of the Hazelwood brown coal generator in Victoria which closed late last month, and who has said that the cost of solar and storage has already fallen below peaking gas generation and will soon be under $100/MWh.

“Other developers have talked a lot about their projects, but we have actually done something. When the notice to proceed is issue, we will then have the largest solar PV in project under construction in Australia,” Concannon told RenewEconomy. And the only large scale solar farm under construction in South Australia.  

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  • George Darroch

    When is the expected completion of stage one?

    • Gary Rowbottom

      I don’t have proper info, but I drove out to have a Bo Peep about 2 weeks ago, wasn’t much to see, just some site offices and some cleared ground, but that is how these projects are, fair bit of work in civils to install the electrical cabling trench routes/inverter stations/connection infrastructure, the “relatively sexy” frames and panels come later, and progress is rapid. I seem to recall they were hoping to finish Stage 1 in 6 months from start. Don’t think they physically started in April, more like June, but with luck they will be supplying MW before the end of summer.

      • George Darroch

        Thanks. Looking forward to a much larger orange section on the sidebar by March.

  • Gary Rowbottom

    Yay Port Augusta, Still room for more here.

  • Craig Allen

    It would be good if these developers were to choose to leave the vegetation relatively intact for a change rather than scraping the whole site down to dusty mineral earth.

  • Phillip Tucker

    South Australia leading the nation on renewable energy. The rest are playing catch up