Work to resume on Walkaway solar project

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Stage one of the Greenough River Solar Farm is already producing electricity for the state grid.
Camera IconStage one of the Greenough River Solar Farm is already producing electricity for the state grid. Credit: Synergy

A solar farm east of Walkaway is expected to provide enough additional electricity to power more than 16,300 households when planned extensions are complete.

Construction stalled last year when RCR O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd lost the contract after running into problems not related to the project.

The solar farm’s owner Bright Energy Investments has now appointed Brisbane-based juwi Renewable Energy to complete the extensions.

BEI general manager Tom Frood said the new contract would enable the 30MW expansion to recommence, with a revised scheduled for completion in early 2020.

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“The construction stretches over the best part of a year and will ramp up to 120 jobs for a number of months,” he said.

“The location means it makes more sense to use local people.

“There will be a few specialists who may not be local but a large amount of the workforce will be from the local community.”

Mr Frood said Bright Energy had engaged Cape Burney resident Allen Kelly as the site construction manager of the expansion.

He said the big international company First Solar was managing stage 1 of the solar farm, and it had engaged Walkaway resident Nic De Vries as the site technician managing operations.

Mr Frood said the Greenough River Solar Farm expansion would be an important contributor to WA’s energy supplies.

BEI is owned by WA electricity generator and retailer Synergy, global infrastructure investment fund DIF and construction industry superannuation fund Cbus.

The company also owns the Albany Grasmere wind farm and is developing the Warradarge Wind Farm near Eneabba.

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