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Solar tracker supplier to build manufacturing plant in Australia

United States-based solar tracker provider Array Technologies is planning to set up manufacturing operations in Australia after being awarded a contract to supply trackers for a 102 MW solar farm being developed in Victoria’s northeast.

Array Technologies said it would establish a manufacturing facility in Australia after being tapped to supply locally manufactured trackers to the 102 MW Glenrowan Solar Farm being developed by Pacific Partnerships, a subsidiary of the Sydney-headquartered construction and engineering firm Cimic Group.

The company said its Australian manufacturing plant will initially supply ground-mounted tracker systems for the Glenrowan project but will eventually provide trackers for other new solar projects in Australia.

Array Technologies Chief Executive Officer Kevin Hostetler said the manufacturing plant – the location and capacity of which has not yet been revealed – will bolster the company’s presence in the Australian marketplace and help spur economic growth in the region.

“This decision will help us meet the growing demand for renewable energy utilities, expedite project schedules, and have long-lasting economic benefits for Australia,” he said.

The Glenrowan Solar Farm, being developed on a 245-hectare site about two kilometres southwest of the township in Victoria’s northeast, is one of six large-scale energy generation and storage projects to have won supply contracts under the state’s second renewable energy target auction (VRET2). Together, the projects will deliver 623 MW of new generation and up to 365 MW/600 MWh of new energy storage.

Array Technologies said it is the first tracker supplier to be awarded a contract under the VRET scheme which is designed to grow renewable energy manufacturing capacity in the state and help the Victorian government meet its commitment to power all of its operations with renewable energy by 2025.

“We are proud to be the first company to provide a locally made tracker and support Australia’s domestic manufacturing base for future renewable energy projects,” Hostetler said. “We recognize the need to transition to a clean energy future and producing locally sourced components is an important step in that transition.”

The VRET2 scheme is part of the state government’s plan to drive significant investment in all six renewable energy zones located across Victoria. The Victorian government has estimated the scheme will support the creation of 920 direct jobs and attract $1.48 billion (USD 1.02 billion) in new renewable energy projects in the state.

“Generating new investment in renewable energy will have lasting benefits for Victoria’s economy, making energy delivery across the state more reliable and affordable,” Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said.

Construction of the Glenrowan Solar Farm has already begun with the project expected to commence operations by the end of 2023.

The solar farm will connect to the existing nearby Glenrowan Terminal Substation. It is expected to generate electricity equivalent to powering approximately 45,000 Australian homes.

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