The second stage of what will be – at least for a brief time – the country’s biggest solar farm has begun generating to the grid.
The Bungala solar farm – near Port Augusta in South Australia – will be a 220MW solar farm the first two stages are complete. The first 110MW stage was completed earlier this year, and now the second stage – after delays including strike action – has begun producing to the grid.
The project is owned by Enel Green Power and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund and its output is contracted to Origin Energy.
The output was picked up by Paul McArdle – from Global Roam, the providers of our popular NEM-Watch widget – who noted that Bungala 2 was injecting a small amount into the grid from a few days ago (the green line at the bottom).
Bungala, along with 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, with a small amount of battery storage, and the proposed Aurora solar tower and molten salt storage project, are leading the transformation of the city region into a renewable energy hub, replacing the now closed Northern power station, the last coal generator in the state that was closed in 2016.
When complete, Bungala will be the biggest solar farm in the country, but may be quickly overtaken by the likes of Sunraysia in NSW (250MW), the Limondale solar project in NSW (313MW), and stage two of the Kiamal solar project in Victoria which will take the project to nearly 400MW. Other projects of a similar size are also in the pipeline.
It will also be overtaken by the 280MW Cultana solar farm being built by Sanjeev Gupta’s Simec Zen Energy to help power the Whyalla Steelworks, although Bungala does have a potential third stage that could add another 80MW and battery storage.
Currently, the biggest solar farm in the country is the 150MW Colleambally solar farm in NSW that is owned by Neoen and began generating earlier last month.
The Bungala solar farm will soon also be joined in South Australia by the 110MW Tailem Bend solar farm, and Tilt Renewables is also adding a 40MW solar farm and battery storage to its Snowtown wind complex.
South Australia currently sources more than 50 per cent of its generation from wind and solar, including rooftop installations, and is expected by the market operator to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of its needs by 2025, given the number and scale of projects.