Two new big solar farms to begin construction in NSW “in coming weeks”

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Developers confirm works set to begin on first of two new solar farms in NSW, totalling more than 460MW of large-scale PV capacity.

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New South Wales looks set to add more than 460MW of new large-scale solar capacity, with German-based developer Belectric confirming it was ready to start construction works on the first of two new solar plants “in the upcoming weeks.”

Belectric secured the contract early this year to develop the 347MW Limondale solar farm at Balranald, and the 115MW Hillston solar farm, both owned by fellow Germany renewables company, Innogy.

Innogy bought the two undeveloped solar projects from local developer Overland Sun Farming in February, marking the company’s first move into the burgeoning Australian market.

At the time, Innogy flagged its intention to start building the two projects in 2018, at a total cost of around $620 million, and said it was on the lookout for more solar, wind and storage opportunities in the Australian market.

As we noted then, Innogy is not just any old energy firm. It is 75 per cent owned by Germany’s RWE, one of Europe’s biggest energy utilities, and boasts annual revenues of more than $A70 billion.

The company’s “old assets” such a coal and nuclear generation were left behind in RWE, while Innogy holds the so-called “future” energy businesses – renewables, network and retail businesses – that will focus on a “modern, decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world.”

“Australia is an excellent starting point for innogy to grow a valuable solar business,” Innogy COO Hans Bünting said in February.

Belectric is similarly bullish about the Australian market.

“For us as EPC provider with close to 2GW of executed projects all over the world, Australia is a promising market to further strengthen our global leading position,” said Martin Zembsch, managing director of BELECTRIC Solar & Battery, in comments on Thursday.

“Large-scale solar has gone from an emerging technology at the beginning of the decade to a genuinely game-changing form of electricity generation in Australia: High solar irradiation and rapidly falling costs have enabled a large number of new projects.”

Already, Belectric’s Australian offshoot has a number of solar projects under its belt, including the 4.77MW Chillamurra solar plant at Goondiwindi Queensland, the 10.8MW facility at Barcaldine Queensland and the 3.3MW solar project at Dareton NSW.

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15 Comments
  1. Jon 2 months ago

    Nice 🙂

    NEG of any format or no NEG it’s going to happen, there is a lost opportunity of having it happen in a coordinated way, hopefully AEMO can coordinate it because our electeted representatives are incapable…

  2. RobertO 2 months ago

    Hi All
    Already, Belectric’s Australian offshoot has a number of solar projects under its belt, including the 4.77MW Chillamurra solar plant at Goondiwindi Queensland

    Just a minor techanally about this site, it actually in NSW, it on NSW land according to the river boundary line which is about 50 meters north of the site and it is also about 100 meters south of Goondiwindi
    It is exactly the same problem with Telephone lines, Telstra has some landlines south of the border on 07 numbers (some Electricity border and some Telephone border do not follow the NSW / Qld State border.

  3. Steven Gannon 2 months ago

    It’s interesting how many solar farms there are now (and in the pipeline) in western NSW, it’s almost like real planning.

  4. phillyc 2 months ago

    462MW with single axis tracking for $620M is a good price. Over the life it should generate 462MW * 4.8PSH * 365days * 25years = 20,225,600MWh. So that works out to be $620M/20MMWh = $31/MWh cost. Double that for profit and debt financing?

    • Peter F 2 months ago

      It is probably $45 with a 12% ROI for 20% equity

    • Steve Applin 2 months ago

      Are you sure you have the PSH right? 4.8 seems very low for a plant with single axis tracking.

      My rooftop system in Perth is only a little less than that.

      • David Osmond 2 months ago

        Agree, a PSG of 4.8 is much too low. Moree solar farm with single axis tracking has an capacity factor of 30% over the last 2 years. That equates to 7.2 PSH

      • phillyc 2 months ago

        I agree, my 4.8 was too low. It was partially to account on degradation over time. 7.2PSH of Moree is excellent and higher than I expected.

  5. Ian 2 months ago

    Are these projects to include battery storage?

    • RobertO 2 months ago

      Hi Ian, I do not see anything that tells me yes, but these days it is getting easier and easier to add as an afterthought, and the size is so adjustable to what matches the profile of what they trying to set as their profit profile, or what they have agreed to in the PPA (can they adjust it).

  6. RobertO 2 months ago

    Hi All, this is all good stuff, it adds to our ability to survive a summer induces coal power failures (as they get older they get more prone to failure, as it get hotter they get more prone to failure).

  7. alexander austin 2 months ago

    Has this project got a grid connection? The Sunraysia project (200MW) is connecting to the same substation. That is 550MW at a single substation. The transgrid report for 2017 seems to say there is 250MW of capacity at the Balranald substation. I dont understand how both projects can fit.

  8. Nick Abbott 2 months ago

    Why are all these renewable projects foreign owned? Australia has $2.6 Trillion in superannuation. Why doesn’t more of it go into infrastructure projects like this, rather than just going into the property market and over inflating that.

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