Chart of the day

West Australia’s biggest solar farm sets top performance benchmark for new owners

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Western Australia’s biggest solar farm, the 100MW Merredin facility, was the country’s best performing solar project in the month of November, with an average capacity factor of 40 per cent – a fine reward for its new owners.

The milestone was observed by Rystad Energy’s David Dixon, who noted that the solar farm, originally developed by Risen Energy in Merredin in WA’s central Wheatbelt, easily topped the list of Australia’s best performing solar farms for the month.

As Dixon also noted in a post on LinkedIn, the Merredin solar farm has a relatively new owner, with Risen Energy agreeing to sell the project to Sun Energy, the largest commercial and industrial solar company in Indonesia, in late October.

As well as the title of Australia’s best performing solar farm – at least for November 2021 – Merredin also has development approval to add up to 20MW/40MWh of battery energy storage and an offtake agreement with Australian resources giant BHP for 50% of the solar farm’s output.

So it appears to have been a good buy for Sun Energy.

In a statement at the time of the sale, Sun Energy chief Philip Lee said the Australian solar market was “key” for the Indonesian company, given its potential and geographical proximity.

“The acquisition [of Merredin] supports our strategy to become one of the leading renewable energy companies in the region, through a combination of new project development and selective acquisitions,” Lee said.

Following behind Merredin in the large-scale solar project performance stakes for November, according to Dixon, was another WA project, the Greenough River solar farm, which chalked up a 36% AC capacity factor for the month.

As Dixon notes, “Five of the top ten best performing wind assets for the month were also in Western Australia,” including APA Group’s Badgingarra wind farm (51% CF), followed by Kiata wind farm (49%) and Iberdrola’s Walkaway wind farm (49%).

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