Global downstream solar company Conergy has selected BMD Constructions, headquartered in Queensland, as the major sub-contractor for its $42.5m Lakeland solar and storage project in Far North Queensland.

Located off the Mulligan Highway at Lakeland in Far North Queensland, the project is the Southern Hemisphere’s first integrated solar, storage and fringe-of-grid project of this scale, and will demonstrate grid-to-islanding functionality.

The construction contract, signed this month, will see BMD Constructions undertake civil, mechanical and structural works on the 60-hectare site, with up to 50 people working onsite during the six-month construction phase. Up to 10 people will be involved in the ongoing operation of the project during its expected lifespan of more than 20 years.

The multi-million dollar project has been designed to consistently feed renewable energy into the grid and demonstrate the capability for large-scale solar and storage to provide reliable future power quality and supply at fringe-of-grid locations.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided $17.4 million in funding support, adding to its portfolio of fringe-of-grid projects that show how renewables can effectively supply energy to regional Australia.

Conergy Managing Director David McCallum said the strategic business relationship with BMD Constructions would enable the project to begin construction next month for completion by April next year.

“As the owner, developer and engineer for the Lakeland Solar & Storage Project, Conergy needed an experienced operator that was not only familiar with the unique demands of the energy sector, but also had worked extensively in regional Queensland locations,” he said.

“We look forward to working with BMD Constructions to create this landmark project, which combines the latest developments in solar technology with utility-scale battery storage to feed consistent, quality power into the existing electricity grid.

“When operational, this project will produce enough electricity to power more than 3,000 homes and will connect to one of Australia’s most remote National Electricity Market (NEM) connected substations.”

BMD Constructions (Industrial) General Manager Paul Elliott said the organisation would draw on its extensive experience working in the North Queensland region when collaborating with project owner Conergy during the construction phase of the project.

“BMD Constructions is pleased to have been signed as the major subcontractor for Conergy’s Lakeland Solar & Storage Project in Far North Queensland and is set to commence works on the project next month,” he said.

“We are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate, utilising local resources, plant and labour force. Our strong reputation in the North Queensland region is built on continued strong performance and collaboration with local suppliers and subcontractors.

“BMD will directly employ approximately 20 workers during the construction phase of the Lakeland Solar & Storage Project, some of whom will be local. We are also committed to helping up-skill the local workforce to provide an overall residual benefit and growth to the region.

“BMD is a proud local in North Queensland, having delivered a vast range of infrastructure projects in the region over the past two decades. We are looking forward to drawing on our experience working in regional and remote areas throughout the construction phase of the project.”

Conergy is the project owner and developer of the Lakeland Solar & Storage Project. It is one of the world’s largest downstream solar companies, specialising in the development, design, finance, build and long-term asset management of industrial and utility-scale solar power systems. Founded in 1998, the company has pioneered the expansion of solar globally and has completed over 1.5 GW across more than 300 projects in more than 15 countries.

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Nord/LB) has provided a 15-year non-recourse financing facility for the project, with Norton Rose Fulbright providing legal Counsel to Conergy.

BMD Constructions offers civil construction services for major infrastructure projects throughout Australia. Expertise, experience and resources are applied across the industry sectors of transport, water, rail, port, resources and energy. The company engages in projects ranging in value from $1 million to in excess of $1 billion as a principal contractor and in joint venture with other major contractor and design partners.

BMD Industrial, a division of BMD Constructions, is managed by a group of highly experienced industry executives who assemble professional project teams to deliver structural, mechanical, piping and electrical solutions for a diverse range of clients and industries.