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UGL to build Equis Energy's 127MW solar farm in Australia

EBR Staff Writer Published 16 February 2018

UGL, a Cimic Group company, has won a contract of worth A$170m ($135.5m) from Equis Energy to construct and maintain the 127MW Tailem Bend solar farm in Australia.

The new solar project will be built with an investment of A$200m ($159.4m) in Tailem Bend, a South Australian town on the Murray River, located 100km south east of Adelaide.

Construction of the Tailem Bend solar project is expected to begin this month with a target to connect it to the grid in the first quarter of 2019.

As per the contract, UGL will be responsible for providing engineering, procurement and construction services of the solar project.

UGL will also build the associated substation, in addition to providing the internal expertise needed for the successful integration of the Tailem Bend solar project into the electricity network.

Earlier this week, Equis Energy said that it had achieved financial close on the project.

The renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) had also signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro, under which the utility will buy all the power generated from Tailem Solar for at least 22 years.

According to Equis Energy, Tailem Solar will be among the lowest cost solar projects in Australia and will create hundreds of jobs apart from spurring economic growth within Tailem Bend and nearby local communities.

The new South Australian solar plant will be able to meet the annual electricity requirement of 41,600 homes.

Equis Energy has revealed that an area of the project site will be allocated to facilitate a future battery installation with storage of up to 100MWh.

Post-commissioning, UGL will provide the operation and maintenance services of the solar plant for a five-year period.

UGL managing director Jason Spears said: “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.”

UGL is also constructing other solar projects at Kidston and Collinsville in Queensland, Emu Downs in Western Australia, Bannerton in Victoria, and White Rock in New South Wales.