Works are expected to begin February 2018 on the US$200 million project – which is located 100 kilometres south east of Adelaide – and is set to be operational by the first quarter of 2019.
Equis Energy has also signed a 22-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro Limited which states that Snowy Hydro will purchase 100 per cent of the power generated from Tailem Solar.
The Tailem Bend Solar Project is going to be one of the lowest cost solar projects in the country and it is set to support hundreds of jobs as well as training opportunities and economic growth in the region. Once operational, the project will be able to supply enough energy to power about 41,600 homes.
A portion of the project site has been reserved to accommodate the future installation of a 100MWh battery storage facility.
“Australia represents one of the most exciting solar power generation markets globally and Equis expects to build over $1 billion on new projects over the next 24-36 months. As Asia’s largest renewable energy developer, Equis is able to leverage its economies of scale to deliver large scale, low-cost, reliable renewable energy, which Australia needs, as well as providing employment opportunities and supporting economic growth in local communities,” Equis Energy Director David Russell said.
UGL - a CIMIC Group company - has been appointed by Equis Energy to undertake the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for this project. The $170 million contract will also include the delivery of the associated substation as well as provide internal expertise - if critically needed - which will ensure that the project is successfully integrated into the electricity network.
UGL will also provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services to Tailem Solar for a duration of five years once the project is operational.
"The Tailem Bend Solar Farm expands UGL's national footprint - we now have a solar farm under construction in every Australian mainland state - reaffirming our position as the leading EPC contractor in the renewable energy sector. We are very pleased to be partnering with Equis Energy to deliver this South Australian solar farm," UGL Managing Director Jason Spears said.
Development of Tailem Bend 2 is also underway, which is a 111MW solar project located adjacent to Tailem Solar. Tailem Bend 2 is expected to decrease power prices further by leveraging the existing Tailem Solar facility. This second solar project is set to commence construction in late 2018.
Once both project are operational, they will be able to generate an output of about 413,000MWh annually, which can supply power equivalent to the annual needs of about 82,000 homes. With both projects, more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 can be saved per year.
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