Progress On WA’s Merredin Solar Farm

Merredin Solar Farm - Western Australia

Image: Google Maps

Several milestones have been reached in the development of what is claimed will be Western Australia’s largest solar farm, which may also include battery storage.

The proposed Merredin Solar Farm will be located 5 kilometres south/south-west of Merredin in Western Australia’s central wheatbelt. Merredin is approximately 260 kilometres east of Perth.

Phase 1 of the 120MWp project will consist of between 360,000 and 400,000 solar panels mounted on trackers, covering an area of approximately 350 hectares. Merredin is expected to generate around 223 gigawatt hours of clean electricity annually – enough to power the equivalent of 42,000 Western Australian homes.

According to a Shire of Merredin document (PDF), a potential second phase would see the installation of up to 50 MWh of battery storage.

Project developer Stellata Energy and its joint venture partner Ingenious Infrastructure announced recent progress on the project earlier this week.

  • A grid connection contract has been inked with Western Power
  • An Electricity Generation Licence has been granted by the Economic Regulation Authority
  • Receipt of Certified Reserve Capacity level with the Australian Energy Market Operator

Stellata and Ingenious say they expect to sign the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contract for Merredin Solar Farm in March.

“Securing the generation licence, grid connection and reserve capacity credits for Merredin Solar Farm represents a huge step forward for our partnership and the Merredin project, having only received planning permission in June last year,” said Stellata Managing Director Guy Beesley. ” Now that the contracts are in place, we look forward to commencing construction and furthering our efforts to bring clean, renewable electricity to Western Australians.”

At this point, commercial operations at the facility are targeted to commence early next year and the $160 million project is expected to have an operating life of 30 years.

The project will provide local employment opportunities, with an expected peak of 200 people working on site during the construction period.

Once fully operational, the landowner will have access to most the site for sheep grazing activities.

Stellata says it has developed more than 400MW of solar farm and commercial rooftop capacity across Europe and has overseen the construction and connection of over 500MW of solar plants across the world.

In other recent solar energy news out of Western Australia, we mentioned yesterday a development application has been submitted for South Fremantle Solar Farm, a 4.9MW project that will reportedly be Australia’s largest urban solar power station.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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