BayWa r.e. has announced that its newest 106 MW solar farm in Australia has been successfully connected to the grid.
Construction of the 630-acre Yatpool solar farm in North Victoria, was completed in late 2019. With 350,000 solar PV panels, the site is capable of generating enough renewable electricity to power around 40,000 homes.
"Yatpool took just 10 months to be built, however there was an 18-month delay between the end of construction and final commissioning. These delays were driven by complicated grid congestion challenges in the North West Murray region of the National Electricity Market grid. Challenges I'm pleased to say we were able to overcome to get the site connected," said Fleur Yaxley, Managing Director, BayWa r.e. Projects Australia Pty Ltd.
"This is our third major solar development in Australia and marks another step forward in supporting the country's renewable energy goals.
"We have an offtake agreement for Yatpool's output with business energy retailer Flow Power, a reflection of the growing appetite for corporate renewable power purchase agreements. We're really pleased to be able to help meet this growing demand from businesses for renewable energy."
At its peak construction, the project created employment for 270 people. With ongoing maintenance and commissioning work continuing throughout 2020, the teams also had to overcome considerable challenges of working through last year's Covid-19 restrictions.
Ensuring a safe and socially distanced working environment was of paramount importance. BayWa r.e. implemented reduced and smaller working teams, with almost all the commissioning being undertaken remotely via VPN connection.
"We'd like to thank our construction partners Beon, consultants WSP and SMEC, and the dedicated staff at Powercor and AEMO, who all helped to deliver this project in very challenging circumstances. This project is a great example of what can be achieved with truly collaborative working," added Fleur.
Australia is an important market for BayWa r.e. and the company is dedicated to helping the country to meet its target of growing its renewable energy share to 41% by 2030.
Daniel Gaefke, APAC Director at BayWa r.e., commented: "Yatpool Solar Farm was built over a period when there was a lot of change in the Australian renewables sector. However, the project team overcame all of the challenges and showed what can be achieved when the sector works towards a common goal. We see such great potential in Australia and are keen to demonstrate just how achievable Net Zero is.
"What we have achieved with Yatpool, along with our other large scale developments, is evidence of our determination to help reduce carbon emissions and deliver green electricity to the country."