Wandoan South Solar Project is an under construction renewable energy project in Queensland, Australia.
The project is situated in Woleebee, approximately 30km south-west of the township of Wandoan. It occupies a total area of approximately 1,336ha.
Approved by the Western Downs Regional Council in 2017, Wandoan South Solar Project will be built in multiple phases using solar photovoltaic technology.
It will generate around 250 jobs during peak construction phase at every stage.
Once complete, it is expected to generate up to 650MW of power to meet annual electricity needs of up to 330,000 homes.
The project is being developed and owned by Vena Energy.
Wandoan South Solar Stage 1
The construction of the first stage of Wandoan south solar project (WSS1) started in April 2022. It is expected to achieve commercial operations in the second quarter of 2023.
The first phase of the solar project will have a maximum output of 125MW and will generate 365GWh of electricity annually. This will power up to 60,000 households.
WSS1 will include around 256,320 bifacial solar panels across a construction footprint of approximately 267ha.
The bifacial panels are capable of absorbing irradiance from both the sides.
Mounted on single-axis tracking racks, the solar panels will also turn from east to west to follow the movement of the sun.
The scope of work for the first stage will include installation of modules, posts and racks, inverter stations, substation, weather masts, control room and maintenance building, cabling and other associated infrastructure.
The new 275kV Juandah Substation will connect the solar farm to Powerlink's Wandoan Substation via an underground cable.
In October 2022, Vena Energy announced the financial close on the first stage of the Wandoan South Solar Project.
The company’s partner banks DBS, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, OCBC Bank, and SMBC agreed to provide debt and ancillary facilities for the 125MW solar project. The facilities comply with ‘Green Loan’ financing criteria.
Gransolar Group is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, operation, and maintenance of the WSS 1 Project.
Several different subsidiaries of Gransolar Group and external contractors will be associated with delivering the project.
Gransolar Group has also partnered with Speciality Services Queensland on this project as part of its efforts to collaborate with local suppliers and focus on local procurement.
Wandoan South BESS
The Wandoan South Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is strategically positioned adjacent to the Wandoan South Solar Project.
With a construction budget of $120m, the first stage of Wandoan South BESS started commercial operations in August 2022.
It has a capacity of 100MW and can store up to 150MWh of energy that can power around 57,000 average-sized Australian households per year. In December 2020, Vena Energy Australia announced financial close for the BESS.
The BESS infrastructure includes a large sealed building housing nearly 500,000 battery cells in approximately 1,600 racks. The racks are placed in four partitions within the battery building.
The power is converted from DC to AC by 17 inverter stations located outside the BESS building. Subsequently, the voltage is stepped up by a substation to the transmission network voltage.
The BESS is connected to Powerlink’s Wandoan South Substation, located to the south of the site via 800m long underground transmission cable.
The completion of Wandoan South BESS marked the first milestone of Vena Energy’s overall Wandoan South Project that received approval to generate up to 650MW of solar electricity, and 450MW of energy storage across several stages.
BESS Contractors and Agreements
Doosan GridTech was responsible for the design, engineering works, procurement, delivery, construction, commissioning and testing of all plant and necessary equipment for the Wandoan South BESS.
In August 2019, Doosan GridTech engaged NRG Services to complete the design of BESS.
CPP received the contract for the design, construction and commissioning of the 132/33kV substation. FKG Group was also a subcontractor for the Wandoan South BESS.
In January 2020, Vena Energy entered into a 15-year agreement with Australia’s largest electricity provider AGL. As agreed, AGL will have full operational dispatch rights of the Wandoan BESS.