Enel breaks ground on 137.7 MW solar plant in South Australia

Italy’s energy giant Enel has announced that its unit, Enel Green Power S.p.A (EGP), and the Dutch infrastructure fund (DIF) have started construction on the 137.7 MW Bungala Solar One PV plant in Australia.

The plant, which is located near Port Augusta in south Australia, makes up the first part of the Bungala Solar PV projects, and is a section of the 275 MW Bungala Solar PV project, that Enel and DIF acquired in April.

The Bungala Solar One plant will cover approximately 300 hectares of terrain and will be located on 800 hectares of land owned by Bungala Aboriginal Corporation (the land is a former ostrich farm).

The plant will be comprised of 420,000 polycrystalline PV modules mounted on single-axis tracker structures. The facility will be connected to the local grid through the Emeroo and Davenport Substations near Port Augusta.

Total investment in the Bungala Solar PV project was $315 million, with money coming through a mix of equity and project finance with a conglomerate of local and international banks. The project has a long-term PPA with local utility Origin Energy.

Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Green Power said: “We are proud to lend our experience to the development of renewables in Australia through Bungala Solar, the country’s largest solar plant currently under construction,”, further iterating; “This project marks the first step of our growth strategy in a country which boasts such an abundant resource base and whose renewable capacity is expected to surge in the next years. Against this backdrop, Enel Green Power aims to become a key player in Australia’s green energy sector.”

The second part of the facility, the aptly named Bungala Solar Two, is expected to begin construction by the end of 2017. The entire 275 MW facility will be in operation at the beginning of 2019, the developers say.