Risen Energy will add battery to Queensland “merchant” solar farm

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Developers of the 100MW Yarranlea solar farm in Queensland’s Darling Downs have flagged plans to add large-scale battery storage to the “merchant” project.

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The developers of the 100MW Yarranlea solar farm in Queensland’s Darling Downs have flagged plans to add large-scale battery storage to the “merchant” project, in an update on its progress.

Risen Energy said in a statement on Wednesday that construction of the the solar farm was keeping to schedule, and was currently in the electrical installation phase.

But in a note at the bottom of the update, Risen general manager Eric Lee said the end goal for the solar project – the which is expected to be completed in October – was to add storage.

“Ultimately, integrated battery storage will be incorporated in the solar farm to provide continuous power during periods of peak demand” Lee said.

As we have reported, Risen bought the Yarranlea solar farm, located around 50km west of Toowoomba, from a company of the same name in February, and announced plans to go ahead with the build without a power purchase agreement.

At the time, Risen director of project development and investment, John Zhong, said the company had been able to design, build, commission, owner-operate the project on a merchant basis thanks to the competitive nature of Australia’s energy prices.

“Due to wholesale electricity markets, Risen Energy will fund 100 per cent of the Yarranlea Solar Farm project without finance,” Zhong said.

“No PPA is attached to the Yarranlea Solar Farm project so we decided to go ahead with merchant to capture the NEM spot price.”

Risen said this week that the solar farm would connect to the grid using the existing Ergon Energy infrastructure, located close to the development site.

This would allow transmission of power into the Middle Ridge Bulk Supply Substation for ultimate use in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs area, the company said.

“The project is currently in the electrical installation phase,” said Andrew Owen, Risen’s renewable development manager.

“This includes the placing and cabling of the container mounted SMA inverters and routing of cables to connect the inverters to the solar farm substation. Approximately 110 workers are currently on site”

Owen said Risen Energy was using local resources wherever possible – 65 per cent of workers have so far come from the Darling Downs region – and was are working with the local community to deliver the project with a minimum of disruption.

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