Beryl solar farm begins production, to help power NSW rail

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Beryl solar farm near Mudgee – which is contracted to the NSW government’s north west Sydney Metro project – begins production.

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Artist impression of Beryl solar farm
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The 87MW Beryl solar farm, north of Mudgee in New South Wales, has become the latest large-scale renewable energy project to join the grid, injecting its first power into the network.

The solar farm, owned by the listed solar farm investor New Energy Solar, has a 15-year contract to supply electricity to the NSW government-owned north west Sydney Metro train lines. That will account for around 69 per cent of its output, with the remainder being solar on market or to another off-taker.

The solar farm (110MW DC and 87MW AC) was bought from First Solar last year and built by Downer Group, using Longi solar panels, Ingeteam inverters and Exosun tracking technology. It will have an estimated capacity factor (AC) of 28.6 per cent.

The first output occurred on Tuesday, and the solar farm should be complete in May, around 12 months after construction started.

New Energy Solar has suggested the addition on battery storage also remains an option – presumably to time shift the output of the solar farm, and sell in evening peaks rather than the anticipated price troughs in the middle of the day, and/or to provide market services.

The listed New Energy Solar now owns two solar farms in Australia – it also owns the 56MW Manildra project in NSW – and represents about 20 per cent of its total portfolio. Last week, it completed a $US200 million raising for a new, London-listed solar fund that will focus on large scale solar investments in the US.

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