Construction of the 132 MWdc Merredin Solar Farm is progressing well and at an extremely rapid pace.
The speed of the solar farm’s civil and mechanical construction has been enabled by great teamwork and strong cooperation between Risen Energy and partners.
They used innovative methods, organisational efficiencies to accelerate the completion of the civil and mechanical works of the solar farm in a period of 3.5 months. This is a remarkable feat. Resourceful procurement processes and Risen Energy’s corporate capability allowed for rapid delivery of equipment to the site.
Pilecom, a Western Australian company installed the last of the 46,563 steel post foundations on November 8th. The tracking system and solar panels are mounted on these piles.
By early December, the solar farm’s civil and mechanical works were completed by the principal construction contractor, Monford Group. 354,452 PV panels and 4,249 torque tubes were installed, with approximately 60km of cable trenching laid and 22 inverters placed onto their foundations. On-site labour peaked at 425 staff and the speed at which they completed the works was exceptional.
Once the field assembly was complete, 300 labour staff demobilised from the site in early December.
roximately 150 staff remain on-site to continue with electrical works and completion of the solar farm. From now to February 2020, the planned work will include the electrical installation, substation install, electrical testing, O&M Building install and connection to the existing high voltage system. After completion, approximately 100 staff will be demobilised. The remaining staff will stay on to complete the final electrical installation and testing. This part of the work will continue through to Q2 2020.
Throughout all stages of the project, Risen Energy has been working closely with the Merredin Shire Council, the Commander of the local police as well as the Merredin Fire Chief. The Merredin Shire Council gave praise to Risen's ability to manage such a large work force in their town.
The construction staff have used just about every business in the town including the newsagent, bottle shop, butcher, hair salons, restaurants, gift shops, pharmacy and hardware.
Merredin Solar Farm
Risen Energy (Australia) is developing the Merredin Solar Farm, the largest solar farm committed to construction in Western Australia. 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.
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 this facility at 220kV.
A diesel power station is also located adjacent to the Terminal on Robartson Road.
Full construction of the solar installation will continue through to early 2020. Merredin Solar Farm will commission and commence power sales in Q2 2020.
“As owners of the Merredin Solar Farm project, Risen Energy (Australia) will progress the project from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation of the solar farm. We are using our 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” said Eric Lee, General Manager Risen Energy (Australia).
The Merredin Solar Farm will endeavour to use as many local resources as is possible including labour, equipment, contractors and accommodation. At the height of construction, over 400 personnel have worked on the solar farm site.
Local businesses are benefitting from this work in the area including Topline Earthmoving, Merredin Freightlines, Holcim, Wheat Belt Uniforms, Signs and Safety, Landmark Agriculture, Two Dogs Hardware, Merredin Crane Hire, Ron Bateman & Co, Wheatbelt Liquid Waste and Merredin Skip Bins. Perth-based principal construction contractor Monford Group and subcontractor Pilecom are contracted for the construction of the Merredin Solar Farm. Monford Group have hired a local company to clean and maintain the construction site facility on a weekly basis.
Monford and Risen Energy will continue to seek local services as the project progresses and further services are required. 22 houses were rented to accommodate the solar farm personnel.
Once operational, the solar farm will require 3-5 full time workers to maintain the installation.