MPower to build 6.8 MW of solar in South Australia

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MPower, a subsidiary of Australian power sector investor Tag Pacific, has been contracted to build 6.8 MW solar project, a chunk of the 30 MW Mannum Solar Farm owned by Chinese-Canadian solar heavyweight Canadian Solar.

The project will feature 17,000 solar panels and single axis tracking system. It is scheduled for completion this year. MPower noted that the contract value amounting to $3 million differs from that of other full-scope projects it was previously involved in because Canadian Solar will be supplying its own components. The 6.8 MW phase of the Mannum project is the second solar farm in South Australia to be awarded to MPower this financial year, the first one being a 5 MW solar farm developed by Renew Power Group in Port Pirie.

“The rise of decentralised power generation and the move away from centralised power stations is a continuing phenomenon and we are encouraged by the level of demand,” said MPower’s Chief Executive Officer Nathan Wise. “MPower’s pipeline of projects in the proposal phase including solar, battery storage and hybrid systems across Australia and the Pacific Islands is continuing to grow.”

Canadian Solar bought the Mannum Solar Farm from renewables developer Tetris Energy in January for an undisclosed sum. As announced at the time, construction of the first 5 MW stage will be supported by revenues from an offtake deal with commercial electricity retailer Flow Power and a separate LGCs agreement. 

The Mid-Murray region is home to several intensive agricultural businesses, which include large-scale dairy, a piggery, and vegetable cool rooms. Flow Power has supply arrangements in place with some customers in the region, including one of the nation’s largest wine producers, Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

The winemaker announced its decision to source 100% of its electricity from renewables by mid-2019 last year. To achieve this, it will rely on the output of a 2.8 MW PV array installed at its Barossa Valley winery, and source the remainder of its power from renewable energy, under a Virtual Generation Agreement with Flow Power.