Grow your business by harnessing the sun

Northern New South Wales businesses have the opportunity to get involved in the growing renewables industry, with two solar farms in development.

UPC Renewables Australia is building stage one of a 720 megawatt (MW) solar farm across two separate solar fields near Uralla.

The 3362-hectare site is about 15km south of Armidale and 80km north of Tamworth.

The solar farm will include about 978,576 photovoltaic modules mounted onto a horizontal single-axis tracking system that follows the path of the sun. Using inverters and step-up transformers, these will convert the DC electrical energy into AC electrical energy at an optimized reticulation voltage, expected to be 33 kV.

Once complete, the solar farm will generate about 1,800,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year. This is enough to power more than 250,000 average NSW homes. It will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.5million tonnes of C02 each year - equivalent to the taking 330,000 cars off the road.

ICN NSW consultant, Dusko Bajic, is working with EPC contractor, Green Light Contractors Pty Ltd, to brief local industry and identify local capability.

At a briefing in Tamworth in mid-March, close to 70 attendees heard from Dusko, as well as representatives from NSW Regional Development and Green Light.

NSW Regional Development has offered help to train local workers in the required qualifications for construction and subsequent operations. Recruitment agencies will collect interest, screen workforce, identify gaps and then Training Services NSW will organise training to fill those gaps.

Meanwhile, ICN NSW agreed to host a workshop to help local suppliers develop an eye-catching Gateway profile for this project and other opportunities.

Green Light is currently calling for general expressions of interest in a range of work packages via the project’s Gateway page.

Meanwhile, FRV Services Australia (FRV) is proposing to build the 115-megawatt Metz Solar Farm also near Armidale.

The proposed solar farm will be installed across a 430-hectare site and is expected to generate enough electricity to supply up to 40,000 Australian households each year. It will connect the existing Transgrid 132 kV transmission line.
Prime Contractor, Beon Energy Solutions, in conjunction with ICN, held a supplier briefing on March 22.

Further south, FRV is proposing to build a 90 megawatt (MWAC) solar farm near Temora, while Neoen is developing a solar farm near Culcairn.