Downer to build Australia’s largest solar farm


Sydney-based diversified infrastructure company Downer Group will be in charge of construction of the the Limondale Solar Farm in NSW. At 349 MWp, Limondale is expected to be Australia’s largest solar power plant once completed.

The project is owned by Germany’s innogy SE, a cleantech spinoff from one of Germany’s major utilities, RWE. Downer was awarded the contract by innogy’s subsidiary Belectric.

“We’re delighted to have Downer deliver the Limondale Solar Farm. This is an important project for BELECTRIC, because it marks our clear intention to grow our business in Australia,“ said the Managing Director of BELECTRIC, Martin Zembsch.

As part of its expansion plan in Australia, innogy has established a Melbourne-based subsidiary, innogy Renewables Australia, with a mission to explore further renewable opportunities including further solar, battery storage and wind (onshore and offshore) locally.

Earlier this year, the 347 MWp Limondale Solar Farm, Balranald, in Far West NSW, and the 115 MWp Hillston Sun Farm, Hillston, Central West NSW, were acquired by innogy SE, for an estimated $650 million.

After the two projects were bought from developer Overland Sun Farming, innogy informed pv magazine Australia that neither Limondale nor Hilston had PPAs, and that it intended to sell the plants’ output on the wholesale market – meaning they were to become the country’s largest merchant projects by a considerable margin.

The project broke ground last month with the launch of preparation works and pre-pilling tests. As innogy said on the occasion, main construction works were expected to commence this October.

Notice to proceed has been issued to Downer, and construction is expected to be complete in 2020.

“Once the Limondale Solar Farm is built, Downer will have constructed close to three gigawatts of renewable energy projects – making Downer a leader in the industry,” said Executive Director of Downer’s Utilities business, Trevor Cohen.

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