Equis Energy achieves financial close on Tailem solar project

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Equis Energy has achieved financial close on its 127MW Tailem Bend Solar Project in South Australia.

Construction of the $200 million project, located 100km southeast of Adelaide, is expected to start in February 2018 with grid connection set for 2019.

Tailem Solar will supply power equivalent to the annual needs of 41,600 homes and an area of the project site will be reserved to accommodate a future battery installation with storage of up to 100MWh.

CIMIC Group company UGL has been awarded contracts by Equis Energy to build and maintain the project.

“The Tailem Bend Solar Farm expands UGL’s national footprint – we now have a solar farm under construction in every Australian mainland state – reaffirming our position as the leading EPC contractor in the renewable energy sector,” UGL managing director Jason Spears said.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Equis Energy to deliver this South Australian solar farm.”

UGL will undertake the engineering, procurement and construction of the project, including the associated substation and, critically, will provide the internal expertise to ensure the project is integrated successfully into the electricity network.

Once operational, UGL will provide the operation and maintenance services for a five-year period.

Snowy Hydro has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Equis to purchase 100 per cent of the power from Tailem Solar for at least 22 years.

“Australia represents one of the most exciting solar power generation markets globally and Equis expects to build more than $1 billion of new projects over the next 24-36 months,” Equis Energy director David Russell said.

“As Asia’s largest renewable energy developer, Equis is able to leverage its economies of scale to deliver large scale, low‐cost, reliable renewable energy, which Australia needs, as well as providing employment opportunities and supporting economic growth in local communities.”

Equis is also developing Tailem Bend 2, a 111MW solar project adjacent to Tailem Solar.

Tailem Bend 2 will bring down power prices further by leveraging the existing infrastructure of Tailem Solar.

Tailem Bend 2 is expected to commence construction in late 2018.

The two Tailem Bend solar projects will have a combined generation output of approximately 413,000MWh a year, supplying power equivalent to the annual needs of 82,600 homes and saving more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually compared to the same generation from South Australia’s existing power plants.