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Gannawarra and Wemen Solar Farm now operating, adding 170MW of renewable generation to the National Grid.

WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd has announced project completion at the Gannawarra Solar Farm. The 60-Megawatt (MW) solar farm is now operating at full capacity, having received approval from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for successfully passing all commissioning tests.

Additionally, WIRSOL’s largest solar project to date, Wemen Solar Farm, has achieved first generation in an impressive 11 months – creating over 600 jobs in various capacities during this time.

RCR Tomlinson, the EPC Contractor responsible for constructing Wemen Solar Farm, achieved the first-generation milestone on schedule and will continue commissioning with the goal of achieving completion by year end.

At 110MW DC, Wemen Solar Farm has approximately 319,000 modules installed across an area of close to 700 acres, becoming one of the largest solar farms in Victoria to be generating clean, renewable electricity.

The two projects combined will provide enough energy to power the equivalent of approximately 52,100 Victorian households with clean, sustainable electricity, whilst preventing the emission of approximately 390,000 tonnes of CO2per year.

The Victorian government consciously committed to re-establishing the state as a front-runner in renewable energy, with targets of 25% by 2020, 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 if re-elected – Wemen and Gannawarra Solar Farm lead by example and signify the commitment made to provide a clean energy future.

Furthermore, Gannawarra Solar Farm’s retrofitted 25MW/50MWh Tesla powerpack battery, Gannnawarra Energy Storage System (GESS), has reached its own project milestone, completing the construction phase ahead of schedule.

This is a significant milestone for WIRSOL, highlighting their position as a leading renewable energy developer within the Australian market.

GESS’s owners, WIRSOL and Edify Energy, have overcome some unique regulatory and technical challenges to become the first battery storage system that has been retrofitted to an existing solar farm. The facility holds great significance and further demonstrates the great opportunity for integrating large-scale battery storage with solar projects.

Mark Hogan, Managing Director of WIRSOL comments, “We are delighted to reach two crucial milestones at Gannawarra Solar Farm. The overall project and how it has evolved is unique to the industry which in turn sets a benchmark for future projects, which enables the ability to optimise the delivery of energy at peak times supporting demand throughout the daily cycle.

We are proud to be a major contributor towards Victoria’s renewable energy target, with two of the state’s largest projects now operating. This also underwrites our own personal mission of deploying greater than one gigawatt of solar energy by the year ending 2020 in Australia. Maintaining the deployment of solar, coupled with storage where appropriate, is a cornerstone in attaining sustainable and affordable clean energy, which is evidently now within reach on a global scale, specifically within Australia.”

Mr Bruce James, Interim CEO and Executive Director of RCR Tomlinson said, “RCR is proud to have delivered the Gannawarra and Wemen Solar Farm projects on time and has helped add to WIRSOL’s Victorian energy projects. These projects continue RCR’s track record of delivering state of the art solar generation facilities.”

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