As part of Victoria’s drive to attract more renewable energy resources to the area, the Victorian government has awarded a $133 million contract to UGL, a subsidiary of the engineering and construction brand CIMIC.
UGL was bought by CIMIC in 2016 and the company already has a successful portfolio in solar power. UGL operates five solar plants and has another four in construction: two in Queensland, one in NSW and one in Western Australia.
Historically, solar power plants have been lacking in Victoria with some investors concerned that the region doesn’t receive enough sunlight to make a solar plant a viable investment.
The Victorian government disagrees and is going to new lengths to invest in this space, from favourable tax deductions to tendered bids that guarantee a profit.
For some companies, Victoria has always been a fantastic untapped resource for renewable energy. Melbourne-based company Essential Solar believes solar PV in Victoria makes sense and is welcoming further investments and the chance for the industry to grow.
CIMIC’s revenue of $133 million within its three-year contract shows the value of solar power in Victoria.
“CIMIC and UGL are pleased to be delivering this significant solar project and supporting the growth of the renewable energy market in Victoria,” said CIMIC chief executive Adolfo Valderas. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to the further expansion of the renewable energy market.”
UGL will begin work on the first stage of its 110MW Bannerton solar park imminently and the plant will begin generating power from July 2018. After that, UGL will operate the plant and carry out all essential maintenance tasks for two years, at which point its lease will be up for renewal.
The contract with UGL is a positive step for the Victorian renewable market but the state still has a long way to go to reach its proposed clean energy target of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025.
Solar experts have stated they are confident that not only will Victoria reach these targets, it will exceed them.