Construction of Risen Energy’s 132MW Merredin Solar Farm has been commemorated with a groundbreaking Ceremony.
Once completed, the solar farm will have an expected output of 281GWh of electricity annually, generating enough green energy to power approximately 42,000 Western Australian homes. It is currently the largest solar farm committed to construction in Western Australia.
The Merredin Solar Farm is located on 460ha of former farming and grazing country adjacent to the Western Power Merredin Terminal and will connect to the Merredin Terminal at 220kV.
A diesel power station is also located adjacent to the Terminal on Robartson Road.
Initially construction will involve bulk earthworks to prepare the site for installation of the solar panels and substation equipment. Full construction of the solar installation starts soon and will continue through to mid-late 2019.
Merredin Solar Farm will commission and commence power sales in Q4 2019.
As owners of the Merredin Solar Farm project, Risen Energy will progress the project from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation of the solar farm.
They will supply the latest PV panel technology to allow it to supply power to the grid. Ultimately, integrated battery storage will be incorporated in the solar farm to provide continuous power during periods of peak demand.
The Merredin Solar Farm will endeavour to use as many local resources as is possible including labour, equipment, contractors and accommodation. It is anticipated that around 200 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the plant which will have approximately 360,000 solar panels installed at the site.
Once operational, the solar farm will require three to five full time workers to maintain the installation.
When completed the Merredin Solar Farm will supply power to homes, businesses and industries in the wheatbelt region and the South West. The completed facility has a projected life of 30 years. At the end of the facility’s useful operating life, all physical infrastructure will be removed, and the land returned to its former agricultural use.
The Merredin Solar Farm has worked closely with local government to deliver the approvals for the Merredin Solar Farm project. This has included focusing on planning consents at a local, regional and state level.
The development approvals established certain conditions on the solar farm’s construction. These include sourcing permits for elements of the installation, the upgrading of identified roads potentially impacted by the development and compliance with environmental requirements. Merredin Solar Farm will continue to liaise with the Merredin Shire and government agencies to ensure these requirements are satisfied.
Merredin Solar Farm has worked closely with the State Government’s corporate entity, Western Power to determine the most appropriate connection to the local electricity grid.
This connection will be into the existing high voltage Merredin Terminal Substation, which ultimately feeds into the Western Australian transmission network. Western Power is currently expanding its facility at the Merredin Terminal to enable the solar farm to connect.
Merredin council’s support of renewables has created a renewable energy hotspot for this Wheatbelt town.
Risen Energy is one of the largest and most reliable suppliers of solar panels within Australia.
“Merredin Solar Farm is our second acquisition of a utility-scale solar farm which we will progress from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation. Our first acquisition was for the 100 megawatt (AC) Yarranlea Solar Farm in South West Queensland where construction is underway,” said John Zhong, Project Development – Investment Director, Risen Energy.
“Risen Energy’s long term goal is the establishment of 2GW of solar farms over the next few years. This reinforces our intention of becoming a key player in the national solar industry,” Mr Zhong said.