Spanish multinational energy company Iberdrola has commenced construction of its $500 million hybrid wind and solar project in Australia.

The 317MW hybrid wind and solar farm near Port Augusta is Iberdrola’s first project in Australia.

The project is expected to take 18 months to reach completion.

Around 200 jobs will be supported during construction, with 20 full-time jobs based on-site once construction is completed in 2021.

The project is expected to generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 180,000 Australian homes.

The announcement follows Iberdrola signing agreements with Vestas for the supply and installation of 50 wind turbines with a 4.2MW capacity and Longi for nearly 250,000 solar PV panels.

Spanish engineering firm Elecnor will construct the storage areas and access roads, as well as deliver the export transmission line, the substation and wind farm balance of plant, while Sterling & Wilson will build the solar farm.

Iberdrola country manager, Fernando Santamaria, said the project signified the company’s commitment to the Australian market.

“We have seen quick progress in challenging times, so it is great to have spades in the ground already on our first ever project in Australia. Port Augusta is a major commitment in terms of investment and clean energy capacity, both for the Australian renewables market and for Iberdrola’s global project portfolio.

“The South Australian Government has worked closely with us during the construction planning, and we were happy to be able to show the Premier and Energy Minister the progress at the site today. The project is delivering jobs and significant economic value for the local region.

“The Australian renewables sector as a whole offers great potential and, as a long-term operator, this flagship project highlights our commitment to invest in countries where we see good conditions for clean energy to grow.”

Iberdrola says it is also progressing well with its friendly takeover offer for Infigen Energy. In total across Australia, Iberdrola and Infigen together have more than 800MW of operating capacity, 453MW under construction and a development pipeline of over 1,000MW.

Originally published in Power Engineering International.