Merredin Solar Farm construction update
Construction of the Risen Energy (Australia) Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia is well underway, with bulk earthworks taking place to prepare the site for solar panel installation and substation equipment.
Reported to be the largest solar farm committed to construction in the state, once completed, the facility will generate an estimated 281 GWh of electricity annually, providing enough renewable energy to power around 42,000 homes.
The solar farm is being constructed on 460 ha of former farming and grazing land adjacent to the Western Power Merredin Terminal, to which the solar facility will connect at 220 kV.
Equipment foundations have been poured and installation of the control room and erection of the gantry is progressing. High-voltage wires to connect the substation to Western Power’s Merredin Terminus have been strung and will be energised once the substation and farm are substantially complete.
Fencing of the site has also commenced, in addition to the establishment of site construction amenities and the facility’s road network. Pile driving testing has resumed to check ground conditions for installation of the tracker system that is required to mount the solar panels onto their fixed structures.
Construction is expected to continue through to mid-late 2019, with commissioning and power sales commencing in Q4 2019.
“As owners of the Merredin Solar Farm project, Risen Energy (Australia) will progress the project from detailed engineering design through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation of the solar farm,” said Eric Lee, Risen Energy (Australia) General Manager.
“We are using our latest PV panel technology to allow it to supply power to the grid. Ultimately, integrated battery storage will be incorporated in the solar farm to provide continuous power during periods of peak demand,” he explained.
The Merredin Solar Farm will aim to source resources locally where possible, including labour, equipment, contractors and accommodation. At the height of construction, it is estimated that 230 personnel will be working on the site. Once operational, the solar farm will require three to five full-time workers to maintain the installation.
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