South Australia solar farm connects to the grid

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A 4.9MW solar farm has been connected to the grid in South Australia, signalling shift from large scale wind to large scale solar.

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Peterborough solar farm nearing competition in South Australia. Source: Renew Power Group.

South Australia is already setting records for the amount of “variable” renewables it has in its electricity system – just over 50 per cent at last count.

This is made up entirely of more than 1800MW of large scale wind farms and more than 800MW of rooftop solar. Now the focus is turning increasingly to large scale solar.

This solar farm above, at Peterborough, not far from the Tesla big battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve, is just 4.9MW but was connected to the grid this week and has been operating at full capacity.

While small, it is at the vanguard of a shift to large scale solar in the state – long awaited given the  excellence of the solar resources.

Another small 6MW solar farm at Whyalla was formally opened by former premier Jay Weatherill in February, but appears to be not yet operating.

But many others are under construction, or planned. These include the 220MW Bungala solar farm, the 127MW Tailem Bend solar farm, a 44MW solar farm at the Snowtown wind complex, and a 150MW solar farm at the proposed renewable hydrogen hub at Crystal Brook.

And, of course, there is some 1GW of large scale solar and storage planned by GFG Alliance to power the Whyalla steelworks, and major projects proposed by DP Energy and Adani Renewables. Not to mention the Aurora solar tower and molten salt storage project near Port Augusta.

The Peterborough solar farm will generate on a “merchant” basis for its owners, The Renew Power Group, but director Kevin Heydt says the company is in discussions with several potential off-takers.

Renew Power has a near term pipeline of some 90MW of solar capacity, both in South Australia and NSW, and Heydt says the company hopes to begin construction on these this year.

 

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16 Comments
  1. ben 2 years ago

    Typo in para 6 – should be “Tailem Bend”.

  2. Joe 2 years ago

    Was the Marshall there, with the media, taking some of the credit?

    • remoteone 2 years ago

      Marshall?! This is a renewable energy source, wrong bloke.

  3. Catprog 2 years ago

    Typo: This solar farm above, at Peterborough,
    not from the Tesla big battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve, is just
    4.9MW but was connected to the grid this week and has been operating at
    full capacity.

    Is that meant to be from?

    • Jon 2 years ago

      Not far from

  4. Jon 2 years ago

    Nice 🙂
    Although it’s not a massive farm it looks like it’s single axis tracking so should contribute a fairly good part of the daylight hours.
    Guessing OpenNEM will get a line for commercial solar in S.A. soon.

  5. RobertO 2 years ago

    Hi All, each little bit helps. Even small system begin to add to the total. Even the school system which was signed on 9 Nov 2017 has now started installation and they are looking about mid may to complete the 76 Kw.

  6. Michael Murray 2 years ago

    So should this be visible on NEMWatch ?

    • Giles 2 years ago

      Apparently not – same for Normanton and valdora solar farms in Qld, and goondiwindi in nsw. and others.

    • Paul McArdle 2 years ago

      Hi Michael

      Sadly this is not the case.

      There has always been a gap between “Large” solar (which AEMO publishes data for on a DUID basis) and “Small” solar (which is estimated by APVi but relies on SRES volume for installed capacity), which might aptly be called “Medium”.

      This was discussed here:
      http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2016/06/the-opacity-of-distributed-small-scale-solar-pv-output/

      Fortunately, there is a growth in the installed capacity of “Medium” installations (which ranges from 100kW to 10MW or more) – but unfortunately there is no visibility of its output at present.

      Would like to help provide this, if you could think of a way?

      Paul

      • Michael Murray 2 years ago

        Thanks Paul for the information. I’m sorry I don’t have knowledge in an area where I could offer help with this.

  7. Paul Surguy 2 years ago

    What about the one at Morgan in SA as well

    • Giles 2 years ago

      Is their one at Morgan?

      • Paul Surguy 2 years ago

        Should be building one 3.7 million panels Riverland solar farm and a solar farm at Roksby Downs with battery

        • Paul Surguy 2 years ago

          Go to wikepidea type in Riverland Solar Storage should be there

          • Giles 2 years ago

            All talk and no action i’m afraid by that developer.

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