AC Energy names contractor for Aussie solar farm

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    AC Energy said that its joint venture company in Australia with UPC Renewables Group has appointed Elecnor as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the first stage of the 720 megawatts (MW) New England Solar Farm and battery project.

    The solar farm and battery project being built in two stages by UPC\AC Renewables Australia in New South Wales (NSW) is expected to create up to 700 jobs at the peak of construction and will provide power to more than 250,000 homes in the region.

    The first phase involves the construction of the first 400 MW capacity from battery storage and a 33/330 kilovolt substation to be completed over the next two years.

    The solar farm will be equipped with a 50 MW per hour batter y energ y storage system capable of dispatching energy to the grid at times of high energy demand.

    “We expect to start on-site construction of the first stage of the solar farm in 2021,” Anton Rohner, UPC\AC Renewables’ chief executive officer, said in a statement.

    The solar and battery project will be Australia’s largest hybrid solar and battery energy storage facility. It will also utilize single axis tracking technology that will allow solar panels to follow the path of the sun while also allowing adequate space for sheep to continue grazing on the land in between and underneath the panels.

    “As we adopt new technologies in the construction of Australia’s biggest solar farm, we also aim to play a prominent role in spurring sustainable and inclusive economic growth in NSW. Together with our long-time partner, UPC Renewables, AC Energy intends to harness Australia’s growth potential for renewable energy while contributing to their renewable energy goals,” said Patrice Clausse, AC Energy International chief operating officer.