Vena Energy has announced the completion of its first Australian project – the 95 MW Tailem Bend Solar Farm. The official opening followed the $200 million project achieving first generation in February as part of a staged testing and commissioning process.
Construction commenced in April 2018 and saw more than 390,000 Jinko solar panels and 54 Schneider inverters installed on site. UGL was awarded contracts to build and maintain the project.
Vena Energy Australia’s managing director, Anil Nangia, said achieving full commercial operation at the site and its connection to the national grid followed years of hard work. “It is very satisfying that this has come together like we planned,” he said.
At its peak, construction involved more than 250 workers, half of whom were local, while most of the work shirts and heavy machines on site sported the names of local businesses. “We’ve found the best project outcomes are delivered when you involve local contractors and suppliers wherever possible,” Nangia said.
South Australia’s Tailem Bend Solar Project reached financial close last February, having signed a 22-year offtake agreement for 100% of its output with Snowy Hydro. It was the first solar project that the government-owned energy provider contracted with.
“Through our retail energy brand in South Australia Lumo Energy, we can supply solar energy to our customers right across the state,” said Snowy Hydro’s Paul Broad.
The Tailem Bend project joins the 220 MW/275 MWdc Bungala Solar Farm near Port Augusta as the second biggest solar farm in South Australia. The project is expected to deliver 200,000 MWh of energy per year, enough to power 40,000 homes.
In Australia, Vena Energy is progressing over 2,400 MW of renewable energy projects across the country including the second stage of the Tailem Bend project and an adjacent grid-scale battery.
Vena Energy – the former Equis Energy – is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). It was acquired in a US$5 billion deal in 2017. Vena claims to be the largest Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Asia with 2,402 MW of solar generation capacity and an additional 4,254 MW under development.