The first solar PV plant of more than 100MW to be built in Australia is expected to begin generating electricity next month.
AGL Energy, which is building the 102MW Nyngan solar plant, and the 53MW Broken Hill solar plant, with assistance of funds from the federal and state governments, says the Nyngan plant has had more than half of its solar modules installed, and should commence generating in March.
The plant is by far the biggest in Australia. The only other large scale solar plant in the National Electricity Market is the 20MW Royalla plant in the ACT, built courtesy of the ACT government’s reverse auction system. The Nyngan and Broken Hill plants were built courtesy of the now defunct Solar Flagships program.
Another plant, the 57MW Moree solar plant in NSW, which will be the first large scale plant with solar tracking, will also be built with funds from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. However, there are numerous other large scale projects with planning approval of seeking it, such as the staged 2GW solar PV project proposed for south west Queensland.
AGL Energy said connection works at Nyngan have been “completed and energised”. This includes the transmission line, switchyard and substation. Structural works (posts, tilts and tables) are nearly complete.
At Broken Hill, the transmission line is still under construction. Civil works have been completed and installation of structural components is progressing. That plant is expected to be fully operational by December.