Downer wins contract to build Australia’s biggest solar farm

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Downer wins contract to build Austrlia’s biggest solar farm, as Clean Energy Regulator reports record accreditations of wind and solar projects in September.

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Australian mining and civil contracting company Downer Group says it was won the construction contract for what will be Australia’s biggest solar farm – the 349MW (DC) – or 313MW AC – Limondale facility in southern NSW.

The solar farm is owned by German energy giant Innogy – which holds the “future grid” assets such as renewables and storage of German’s RWE. Downer was awarded the contract by Innogy subsidiary Belectric Solar and Battery.

“Once the Limondale Solar Farm is built, Downer will have constructed close to three gigawatts of renewable energy projects – making Downer a leader in the industry.” Trevor Cohen, the head of Downer’s Utilities business, said in a statement.

Innogy intends to spend more than $650 million building this and the 115MW Hillston solar projects it bought from Overald Sun Farming, and has established a new office in Melbourne to further its solar, battery storage and wind (onshore and offshore) interests in the country.

Construction of the Limondale project is to begin this month and is expected to be complete in 2020.

It is one of two big solar projects being built near Balranald, with Maoneng also going ahead with the 250MW AC Sunraysia solar project – also with the possible addition of battery storage – that has been largely contracted to AGL Energy as part of its replacement plans for the Liddell coal generator.

  • Meanwhile, the Clean Energy Regulator says 34 power stations were accredited in the month of September with a combined capacity of 667MW – the largest amount of solar and wind capacity accredited in a single month since (records began) in April 2001.
  • It says the total for 2018 is now 2799MW, and includes five utility scale projects in the past month:
    • Coleambally Solar Farm – NSW – 189 megawatts
    • Daydream Solar Farm – QLD – 181 megawatts
    • Bungala Two Solar Farm – S.A. – 138 megawatts
    • Emerald Solar Park – QLD – 90 megawatts, and
    • Hayman Solar Farm – QLD – 60 megawatts.
  • (All these ratings are DC, not AC).
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