Enel breaks ground on solar farm awarded in Victorian RE auction

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Enel Green Power Australia, a subsidiary of Italy’s energy giant, has launched works on the 34 MW solar farm nearby the town of Cohuna, in the Shire of Gannawarra. The developer was awarded a 15-year support agreement from the Victorian government for the generation of energy and green certificates.

The project will feature around 87,000 highly efficient bifacial modules mounted on single-axis trackers and be connected to the local distribution grid through the Cohuna Zone Substation. The developer says it is investing around US$42 million (AU$59 million) in the construction of the facility, which is expected to start operations by the end of 2019, generating up to 77 GWh per year once fully up and running. The project is co-developed with local developer Leeson Group.

The Cohuna Solar Farm is one of the three winning projects awarded through a renewable energy reverse auction launched by Victoria in November 2017. Although initially expected to deliver around 650 MW, Victoria’s first renewable energy auction smashed the goal, delivering 928 MW of renewable capacity as revealed in September last year. Six projects will be developed in total, three wind and three solar, under Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to source 25% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

The other two winning solar projects are: the 121.6 MW Carwarp Solar Farm located near Mildura developed by module manufacturing heavyweight Canadian Solar, and the 98.8 MW Winton Solar Farm, which is developed by Spanish developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.

“Since EGP made its entry into the Australian renewable sector, we have already made great strides to expand our footprint in this competitive market,” said Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Green Power.

Enel Green Power Australia, in joint venture with Dutch Infrastructure Fund, owns the 275 MW Bungala Solar Farm, which is located near Port Augusta, South Australia, and is the largest solar facility currently producing energy in the country.