Queensland, the Sunshine State, is about to lose its mantle as the biggest state in Australia for the production ton of electricity from large scale solar.
According to new data from analysts at Rystad Energy, Queensland generated 263GWh (gigawatt hours) of large scale solar output in August, just ahead of NSW with 261GWh. In total, there was nearly 700GWh of PV generation in August, up 40 per cent from the same month last year.
But Rystad’s David Dixon says NSW is expected by the end of the year to reclaim the mantle it held up to 2017 after the first large scale solar farms in the country’s main grid were switched on.
Dixon notes that of the numerous solar farms currently moving through what has become a drawn out commissioning process, the five biggest are all located in NSW.
These include the 275MW Darlington Point, the 220MW Limondale 1, the 200MW Sunraysia, the 150MW Suntop and the 110MW Gunnedah solar farms. (All capacities in AC rather than DC).
Queensland, though, has some other major projects under construction, or about to begin construction, including the 400MW Western Downs solar project from Neoen.
In the past month, according to Rystad, the five best performing solar farms were all located in Queensland, perhaps not surprising given the winter sun.
These were Adani’s Rugby Run (28.2 per cent capacity factor), Foresight’s Oakey 2 (26.1%), Elliot’s Childers (25.5%) and Susan River (25.4%) and Genex’ Kidston solar farm (24.4%).
Two of the top ten solar farms according to capacity factor in August were in W.A., including the newly expanded Greenough River (the first stage of which was the first grid scale solar farm in Australia when built in 2012), and the Merredin solar farm.