APA to add solar park to biggest wind farm in Western Australia

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APA adds solar farm to new wind project in Western Australia, making second on-grid solar-wind hybrid in the state.

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APA Group is to be create the second but biggest grid-connected hybrid wind and solar facility in Western Australia, with a decision to add a 17.5MW solar farm to the 130MW Badgingarra wind park near Geraldton.

Both the wind farm and the solar farm are contracted to Alinta Energy, which is looking to expand its retail business in W.A. The additional of the solar farm also led Alinta to extend the length of the contract by an additional 5 years to 2035 – well beyond the closing date of the renewable energy target scheme.

It is the second wind-solar hybrid after the co-located Emu Downs wind and solar parks, also located in the same area near Geraldton, north of Perth. The deal includes both the energy and the Large-scale Renewable Generation Certificates generated by both energy sources.

“The 147.5MW combined Badgingarra wind and solar projects have complementary generation profiles,” says APA managing director Mick McCormack.

“Like our adjoining Emu Downs wind and solar projects, the wind pattern in this region allows for the solar generation to utilise the existing substation and connection infrastructure.”

Both projects are expected to be completed in 2019, part of the state’s late push into large scale renewables, an investment that was stalled under the previous Liberal state government.

This graph, included in APA’s recent results presentation, shows how W.A. lags most other states in wind and solar.

APA’s embrace of hybrid wind and solar projects is part of a national trend – including the Kennedy Energy Hub in north Queensland, which will include battery storage, and the White Rock wind and solar park in norther NSW and the Gullen Range wind and solar farms in southern NSW.

More are planned. Tilt Renewables is to add solar and storage to the Snowtown wind farm, DP Energy plans wind and solar near Port Augusta, Genex plans to add wind o its solar and hydro project at the Kidston gold mine, and CWP is planning to add solar and storage to its major Sapphire wind project in NSW.

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