German energy business Innogy has commenced preparation works on Australia’s biggest solar project to date.
Construction works on the Limondale facility — located near the town of Balranald, New South Wales — are set to begin in October, with full commercial operation expected by the middle of 2020, Innogy said in a statement Wednesday.
The power plant will have a capacity of 349 megawatts peak.
Hans Bunting, Innogy’s COO for renewables, described the Limondale facility as the company’s first utility scale photovoltaic plant in Australia. Innogy’s subsidiary, Belectric, will act as the solar farm’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor.
“Electricity prices in Australia have risen strongly over the past decade and are among the highest in the world,” Thorsten Blanke, Innogy Renewables Australia’s CEO, said in a statement.
“An expansion of renewable energies can contribute towards reducing the energy costs for customers,” Blanke added, before describing wind and solar as “cost-effective alternatives in a country with excellent natural renewable resources.”
Australia is home to the “highest average solar radiation per square meter of any continent in the world”, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, while more than 2 million Australian households have rooftop solar systems.