The 53MW Broken Hill solar farm in New South Wales – Australia’s second-largest utility-scale solar plant – is on track to be fully operational by the end of the year.
The last of the 677,760 solar panels was installed yesterday in the presence of representatives from ARENA, AGL, First Solar, NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, the Hon Anthony Roberts MP and NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, the Hon Mark Speakman.
“There is a real sense of momentum driving large-scale solar in Australia today. The Broken Hill and Nyngan solar plants are already supplying power to Australian homes and we now have $350 million available through ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which will further accelerate growth in the sector,” said Acting ARENA CEO Ian Kay.
“Large-scale solar has a vital role to play in Australia’s energy mix. ARENA’s $100 million large-scale solar round is well positioned to harness our world-class solar resource and double the capacity of our nation’s large-scale solar by encouraging investment, reducing finance costs and building robust supply chains. There has been serious interest in the round. We look forward to taking strong proposals forward and building on the significant achievements of AGL, First Solar and others.”
About a month ago, AGL’s $150 million Broken Hill solar plant started feeding renewable energy into the National Electricity Market for the first time.
The plant is currently generating up to 27 MW of renewable energy into the grid and the remaining 26 MW is expected to be brought online this month.
“Renewable technology like our Broken Hill Solar Plant and its sister plant at Nyngan, play an important part in AGL’s transition towards a decarbonised economy. Broken Hill will contribute to the more than 1,900 MW of renewable capacity AGL currently has in operation or under development,” said AGL Executive General Manager Group Operations, Doug Jackson.
“Just six months after Australia’s largest solar plant at Nyngan was switched on, we are now another step closer to completing Australia’s two largest utility-scale solar plants in the same year. First Solar’s delivery record has set an industry benchmark and this milestone reaffirms the prominent role utility-scale solar PV will continue to play in Australia’s energy future,” said Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia Pacific.
Together with the 102MW Nyngan Solar Plant, the completed Broken Hill Solar Farm will help produce approximately 360,000MWh of electricity annually – enough to power 50,000 average Australian homes.