Australia’s largest solar farm, the AGL Energy-owned 102MW Nyngan Solar Plant in western New South Wales is set to become fully operational in a matter of weeks after achieving the milestone of full generation on Tuesday.
AGL said the solar farm, construction of which was completed in mid-April, had successfully completed testing, and was given the green light by the Australian Energy Market Operator and the local distributor to start sending the full amount of its 102MW electricity generation capacity to the grid – enough to power 33,000 homes a year.
“This is a great achievement for the largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant ever built in Australia,” said AGL Project Manager for both the Nyngan and Broken Hill Solar Plants, Adam Mackett. “We will now be conducting final commissioning and testing ahead of the plant being fully operational next month.
Ivor Frischknecht, the CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – which helped AGL fill the funding gaps for the $300 million project, along with the NSW Government ($64.9 million) – said the plant’s achievement was a milestone for the Australian solar industry.
“This new Australian record sends a strong signal to the energy industry that utility-scale solar PV plants can be constructed on time and on budget,” said Frischknecht, adding that it would greatly increase market confidence in future solar PV projects, bringing down the cost of planning, construction and finance.
This is how it looked when the added capacity was introduced over the weekend.
And this is how it sits in context with other generation. Go to our NEM-Watch widget to see more.
AGL’s 140 hectare Broken Hill plant has also reached a significant construction milestone, AGL said, with the installation of more than one-third of its 650,000 PV modules, keeping the project on schedule.
All told, Broken Hill and Nyngan will have a combined capacity of 155MW, a good number for AGL to begins its long transformation to decarbonise its electricity.
Total capital expenditure for the two projects is approximately $440 million – $166.7 million was provided by ARENA.