A sudden rush of connections to several new large-scale solar farms has seen Queensland match New South Wales with nine utility-scale solar farms connected to the grid.
The latest to join the grid and be registered with the Australian Energy Market Operator is the 110MW Darling Downs Solar Farm, following the two 57.5MW solar farms at Hamilton and Whitsunday near the old Collinsville coal generator in the north of the state.
So far we have connection and registration only, and no output, as the new installations go through their paces with the local network and the market operator.
That, mind you, is proving a difficult process, and many solar farms said to be complete have still not reached full output because issues around performance have yet to be revealed. (This will be the subject of another story soon!)
Still, the addition of Darling Downs, Hamilton and Whitsunday, adds to the 15MW Longreach, 50MW Kidston, 124MW Sun Metals, 110MW Clare, 20MW Hughenden, and 25MW Barcaldine solar farms in Queensland.
NSW, which led the way with the 102MW Nyngan, 53MW Broken Hill and 57MW Moree solar farms, has recently added 47MW Manildra, 55MW Parkes, 25MW Griffith, and 10MW Gullen Range solar farms, and the state’s total includes two smaller solar farms in the ACT – the 20MW Royalla, and 11MW Mugga Lane.
There are a bunch of smaller solar farms in both states, although none of them register on the AEMO’s SCADA data – these include Lakeland, Dunblane, Valdera and Normanton in Queensland, Williamsdale and Mt Majura in the ACT, and Chillamurra in NSW.
So, the score should probably be something like Queensland 12, NSW/ACT 11, although both states have more in the pipeline, with the Dubbo solar hub in NSW and another 10 in Queensland nearing completion.