The 87MW Beryl solar farm in New South Wales is set to be the next major renewable project to roll off the line after developer First Solar reached financial close last week.
Beryl, located five kilometres from the town of Gulgong in the state’s central west, is one of the biggest solar projects in the state to reach financial close since the completion of the 102MW Nyngan solar project, although there are several bigger projects on the horizon.
First Solar is also about to complete the 41.5MW Manildra project, which is undergoing commissioning now. Neoen has signed a PPA agreement for the 150MW Coleambally solar project, while Maoneng has a PPA for the 250MW Sunraysia project near Balranald.
The contract for the $150 million project has been awarded to Downer Group,
Steven Jackson, First Solar’s vice president of Asia Pacific, said the Beryl project will be one of the first to use the company’s new Series 6 thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules.
(“(This means), the Beryl Solar Farm will maximise the energy produced from the site and deliver a lower levelised cost of electricity,” he said in a statement.
“With a nameplate capacity of up to 445W and 18% efficiency, First Solar Series 6 modules are the highest power PV module available for large-scale solar projects.
The project will also use single axis tracking technology and Ingeteam inverters.
Transmission company Transgrid also announced that the financial close meant it could commence additional planning work as part of the connection process.
“The project is located approximately 250 metres south of TransGrid’s Beryl Substation, so we havebeen able to offer a very competitive and attractive asset connection plan to First Solar,” TransGrid’s head of business growth Richard Lowe said in a statement.
“The Beryl Solar Farm will connect directly into TransGrid’s high-voltage electricity transmission network via a 66kV connection to a new bay at Beryl Substation.
“This connection will allow the export of 87 megawatts of power into the National Electricity Market – enough to serve the needs of approximately 25,000 average NSW homes, while the associated carbon emission displacement is equivalent to taking about 45,000 cars off the road.”
TransGrid will build and operate a new substation at the solar farm site to connect to TransGrid’s existing Beryl substation. Construction of connection assets to follow in the second half of 2018.