APA officially opens new 20MW solar plant next to W.A. wind farm | RenewEconomy

APA officially opens new 20MW solar plant next to W.A. wind farm

APA officially opens Badgingarra solar farm in Western Australia wheatbelt region, where it is co-located with a larger wind farm.

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APA's Badgingarra solar farm.

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.”

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4 Comments
  1. Craig Steddy 11 months ago

    I’d like to hear LNP fossils make the case that Badgingarra is aesthetically diminished by the presence of solar and wind farms. If you do you can be certain that they have never visited the place.

  2. wideEyedPupil 11 months ago

    “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.”

    apa are heavily involved in the fossil gas industry and only dipping their toes in the RE industry. fossil gas, contrary to industry spin, is worse for the climate than burning coal. the only thing that makes it a “transition fuel” is OCGTs are more flexible than coal (or CCGTs for that matter) so compliment wind and solarPV as the transition occurs. In WA they burn ~42% gas on the WEM, it’s been more like 48% for the last month with coal struggling to ramp around the high PV exports from rooftops in the cool sunny weather more coal units are being forced to sit it out.

    methane venting and/or leaks of 2.5% make it worse than burning your average lump of black coal to make power. also coal plants co-emit sulphate particulate aerosols that are short term cooling agents, which masks the warming impact of CO2 to some extent (until they turn the coal plant off at which time the aerosols released into the atmosphere disappear pretty quickly).

    The Leaks and venting often occur through a lack of concern/budget to even bother adequate monitoring, other times due to a rush to get the oil out of an oil field they will vent the methane (and flare some of it). In the Permian shale plays in USA they’ve been fingered in an industry study to be venting and flaring up to 18% of the methane, which makes ICE cars fuelled from that oil so much worse than a coal powered EV it’s not funny.

  3. Matthew Wright 11 months ago

    APA are just a gas company and this is just a dip of the toe at best or an excuse to get a press release out claiming that gas is part of the solution to climate change. No way gas is dirty, dangerous, deadly and disastrous. It’s got to go. The best thing everyone can do is divest their gas shares and disconnect gas from their property.

  4. WA David 11 months ago

    “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.”

    Can anyone explain what exactly the 560MW in the past year was? I am only really aware of Badgingarra and Northam…so 160MW on the SWIS. What was the other 400MW…were these offgrid, horizon, or rooftop pv has rooftop pv accidentally been included.

    Also, why only 250MW in the next 12 months..merriden, yandin and warradarge make at least 500MW plus greenough upgrade..530MW. All should be on before July next year.

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