Construction of one of Australia’s largest utility-scale solar projects, the Clare Solar Farm in north Queensland, is set to begin after contracts were secured to supply, build, operate and maintain the 100MW facility.
The project’s developers, Spanish group Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), said on Monday that China-based Trina Solar, had been selected to supply the PV modules for the solar farm, with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) as well as operations and maintenance awarded to Downer EDI .
The announcements mark another milestone for a project that, itself, is considered to a major milestone for the Australian solar industry, as the first project of its kind to secure a commercial Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) without any additional government grants and funding.
As we reported here in May last year, major gentailer Origin Energy signed a 13-year PPA with for the output of Clare solar farm, located 35km west of Ayr, signalling a maturing of the Australian large-scale renewable energy sector, as well as a shift from wind to solar.
At that time, the 100MW facility was expected to produce more electricity than the 102MW Nyngan solar farm because of its superior solar resource and its intention to use single axis tracking technology.
According to Trina Solar, the PV modules to be supplied for the project will be high performance mono-crystalline Duomax panels rated at 1500 volts – a product specifically designed to improve project Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).
Trina Sola;’s president for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Helena Li, said the company was happy to be working with Downer on another Australian project.
“We are confident that this will be another milestone for us to establish a track record of success in the utility segment in Australia.”
Construction of the Clare Solar Farm is expected to create about 200 jobs and when completed will generate enough power for 42,000 Queensland homes.