Construction is underway on the 255MW Sunraysia solar farm being developed by Maoneng near Balranald in New South Wales – one of the biggest PV projects currently being built in Australia.
Decmil, the Australian engineering and construction company contracted to build the solar farm said on Tuesday that it was “all systems go” at the site, following financial close on the project in October last year.
“The security fence around the site (1000ha); and all staff have mobilised into the new onsite office. The first pile has been driven with thousands to follow!,” the company said in a LinkedIn post.
As we have reported, the Sunraysia project forms a key element of AGL Energy’s plan to replace its ageing and increasingly decrepit Liddell coal-fired generator in the Hunter Valley with a mix of solar, wind, storage, gas and upgrades to its Bayswater plant.
Sunraysia has a 15 year contract to provide power to AGL, and also has a contract with UNSW in Sydney as part of the university’s plans to reach “carbon neutrality” on energy by 2020. The project may also include a large scale battery storage array.
John Laing, which has a stake in the Hornsdale wind farms majority owned by Neoen, has also taken an equity stake in this project, its first in the solar sector in Autralia.
Debt financing has been secured from Nord L/B, ING, National Australia Bank, Mizuho Bank and Bank of China.
The LinkedIn post notes that the project’s accommodation camp has opened its doors to the first 150 staff and tradespeople. All up, as many as 400 people are expected to be employed during construction.
As we have also noted, the Sunraysia solar farm is one of the biggest solar projects to begin construction in Australia, alongside the neighbouring 340MW Limondale solar project being built near Balranald by Innogy.