Nearly three years after winning a tender in the ACT government’s first reverse auction program for large-scale renewables, a 13MW solar farm has begun construction on the outskirts of Canberra.
The Mugga Lane solar farm – to be the second largest in the ACT behind the already completed Royalla solar farm (20MW) – is being built by Chinese company Zhenfa Australia, now known as Maoneng Group following a buyout of the local company by management.
The solar farm is being built on the corner of Mugga Lane and the Monaro Highway, and ACT environment minister Simon Corbell officiated at its “sod-turning” on Thursday.
Mugga Lane is one of three solar projects to be built in the ACT. A third, an 11.8MW project owned by Elementus, will begin construction later this year after being forced to change location after protests from the local community.
The other major large-scale renewable energy projects that have won contracts with the ACT government – 4 large wind farms – are located outside the ACT, in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
“Over the past five years, the ACT Government has attracted more than $1.5 billion in renewable energy investment, which has supported a 400% growth in renewable energy jobs,” Corbell said in a statement.
The Mugga Lane solar project will use tracking technology that will allow half of its 48,000 modules to track the sun during the day, boosting output. The 13MW project is expected to generate about 24,500MWh of power a year, the equivalent of the annual consumption of 3,000 homes.