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Moree Solar: Australia’s second-largest solar farm now feeding the grid

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Large-scale solar’s contribution to Australia’s National Electricity Market has received another boost this week, with the addition of generation from the 56MW Moree Solar farm in northern NSW.

The FRV-developed single-axis tracking PV plant began feeding energy into the Australian grid on Monday morning, alongside other NEM-connected big solar generators, Nyngan (102MW), Broken Hill (53MW) and the 20MW Royalla solar farm.

As you can see in the below snapshot of RenewEconomy’s NEM-Watch widget, output from Moree Solar Farm is now included in the “Large Solar” category for the NSW region, taking the collective output to around 180MW – a number still dwarfed by rooftop solar contribution, represented in the chart as the APVI small solar data.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 12.55.56 PM

The bottom graph by WattClarity – who were responsible for the development of the NEM-Watch widget – is taken from AEMO data and excludes the 20MW from Royalla, which – for reasons as yet unexplained – only made a brief appearance in the AEMO data set back in April 2015.

Moree Solar farm started its life as a scaled-down version of a project from the federal government’s ill-fated Solar Flagships program.

And while it was named as the best solar project deal of 2014 for the Asia-Pacific region, it had a shaky start to life; including the 11th-hour withdrawal of Australian project partner Pacific Hydro due to “ongoing political and market uncertainty”, and various attempts by the Abbott government to close down the CEFC, whose funding ultimately got the project over the line.

It is ground-breaking for a couple of reasons: one, for being Australia’s first example of single-axis tracking technology deployed on such a large scale; the second, as the first such project to by-pass the major utilities and be built on a “merchant” basis.

You can get live generation updates on NEM-Watch here.


  

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  • Andrew Thaler

    Singleton Solar farm, 408kW is the 5th largest in NSW
    Superdome, 70kW, comes in at No 14
    Both Liddell and Lake Cargelligo are not operational, afaik.
    have a look here–>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Australia

  • Andrew Thaler

    And Sophie… Singleton Solar is NEM connected.. Stage 1 200kW is connected to the NEM spot market and Stage 2 is connected to the NEM too, but uses australia’s first Virtual Nett Metering system to supply its energy to the University of Technology in Sydney.
    Cool eh..