The “shovel ready” 149MW solar farm planned for Glenrowan West in Victoria appears set to break ground, after the appointment of EPC contractors Signal Energy Australia this week.
Lawyers Weekly reported on Thursday that the wholly-owned Australian subsidiary of US-based Signal Energy had been advised on its engagement as EPC contractor for the solar farm, planned for construction between Benalla and Wangaratta.
The appointment comes around one month after the project was acquired by German-based Wirtgen Invest, marking that company’s first move into the Australian renewables market.
“Wirtgen Invest is proud of its first investment in Australia,” the company said in January. “We are looking forward to good cooperation with the local community and to making Glenrowan West Sun Farm shine.”
It also comes at a time when EPC contractors for large-scale renewable energy developments are not easy to come by – particularly in Victoria, where big solar projects are facing potentially years-long delays in connecting to the grid.
Earlier this month, major industry player Downer Group signalled a dramatic exit from the Australian solar business, describing it as too hard.
Downer’s departure follows the collapse of RCR Tomlinson, which went bust in 2018 and was liquidated after delays and cost overruns in around one dozen large-scale solar plants, and other contractors have also been hit hard by the same issues.
Norton Rose Fulbright, the law firm that advised Signal through its negotiations for the Glenrown West solar farm, said it would continue to assist during the project’s delivery phase.
“We are pleased to have assisted Signal Energy Australia who has quickly become a major player in the EPC market,” NRF said in a statement.
“The highlight of this deal was the collaborative approach of the parties in sharing the procurement risks and the uncertain grid connection risks that face all renewable projects today,” said lead partner Emanuel Confos.