Western Australia’s revived large-scale solar market has delivered another finished product to the grid this week, with the completion of the 19.25MW Badgingarra solar farm in the state’s wheatbelt region, north of Perth.
The solar farm, which is contracted to sell electricity to Alinta Energy, was officially launched on Wednesday by developers APA Group, at the site where it is co-located with the 130MW Badgingarra wind farm, joining a raft of other facilities that feature both wind and solar generation.
The project marks the fourth facility in APA’s Renewables Precinct, where it shares an electricity network connection with the nearby Emu Downs Wind Farm and Emu Downs Solar Farm.
The total combined capacity of the precinct is now almost 250MW, APA says.
“Our new Badgingarra Solar Farm is a world class renewable energy generator that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to responsible energy,” said APA Group CEO and managing director Rob Wheals.
“We’re continuing to grow our capabilities in renewable energy infrastructure as part of our growth strategy,” Wheals said.
“Badgingarra Solar Farm expands our Western Australia Renewables Precinct, which will, together with our gas infrastructure, contribute to Australia’s transition to a lower carbon economy.”
After a slower start than most of the rest of Australia, W.A. is currently undergoing a boom in construction of large-scale renewable power plants, with the commencement of works for Risen Energy’s 100MW (AC) Merredin solar farm in July.
Like the 207MW Collgar wind farm located nearby, the Merredin solar farm will be – at least for a while – the largest of its type in the state. And it will also likely have a battery at a later date added to ensure constant output during peak demand.
On top of this, some 560MW of new wind and solar farms have come on line in the state over the past year, and another 250-plus MW of mostly wind is expected to be completed in the next 12 months.
These include the Yandin wind farm being built by Alinta north of Perth, the expansion of the Greenough River solar farm, and the Warradarge wind farm.
APA Group’s Badgingarra wind farm was officially opened in May of this year.
“Projects such as the Badgingarra Solar Farm demonstrate that we can create regional opportunities built around cleaner and cheaper energy sources that supports increased power reliability in the regions,” said state energy minister Bill Johnston at the launch.
“The McGowan government is committed to helping the State compete for, and capture, a significant share of these high-value, fast growing energy technology opportunities.”