Oakey solar farm begins production, second new plant in a week in Queensland

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Oakey becomes second new solar farm to join Queensland grid in past week, and last of the 12 ARENA-sponsored projects in its large scale solar round.

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The Oakey 1 solar farm in Queensland has begun production, albeit small, becoming the second large scale solar project in the last week to join the grid.

Oakey 1 is the 25MW first stage of what will be an 80MW solar farm built by Canadian Solar and located to the west of Toowoomba. It joins the grid just days after the Lilyvale solar farm to the north, owned by Spanish company FRV, also made its first injections into the grid.

This graph below, supplied by Paul McArdle from Global Roam, the providers of our popular NEM-Watch widget, reveals the initial production earlier this week. It will likely take a few weeks or months until it gets through all the clearances and can reach full production.

Oakey 1 is the last to join the grid of 12 solar farms that received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s  large scale funding round that announced a total of $90 million in support in late 2016. Canadian received $2.2 million towards the then estimated project cost of $47.5 million.

Part of its delay may be sheeted home to the fact that its EPC contractor was RCR Tomlinson, which went bust and exited the solar business after cost over-runs and connection delays at other projects.

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