This past Saturday marked one week since Australia’s largest utility-scale solar PV plant – AGL Energy’s Nyngan solar plant in western NSW – began feeding power into the Australia’s main grid from its first 25MW of panels completed to date.
So what did the first week’s electricity generation profile look like? We’ve been documenting it through our live feed via NEM Watch, as you can see here. But the graph below, which shows a retrospective view of the past week, suggests the results have been pretty good.
The chart, taken from AGL’s Energy in Action blog, shows that the plant – or the completed section of it, which consists of approximately 350,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules – contributed a maximum of around 22MW to the NEM on its first day of operation. The following six days saw the plant regularly – and consistently – reach even a little beyond its nominal maximum capacity output of 25MW in the daylight hours between sunrise and sunset.
And, in the first week at least, it has been as regular as clockwork.
As the grid operator keeps on saying, variability is fine – it happens all the time with demand changes – but predictability is an asset.
And according to the latest NEM Watch update (see the chart below) the plant was already contributing 24MW into the market at the time of publishing. Click here to the see live update.
As we reported last week, the plant’s supplier, First Solar, will add four times that amount of generation, progressively over the next three months, as the remaining three sections of the plant are individually commissioned.