Country’s biggest solar plants completed in Western Australia
In a landmark achievement for renewable energy, AGL Energy Limited and solar developer First Solar have successfully completed Australia’s largest solar plants in Nyngan and Broken Hill.
Located in Western Australia, the plants were officially opened during a ceremony at the Nyngan plant on Wednesday.
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AGL Managing Director CEO Andy Vesey said, “Developing two solar plants of the magnitude of Nyngan at 102 MW and Broken Hill at 53 MW is a major accomplishment and signals the birth of large-scale solar in Australia. We are proud to have achieved this on time and on budget.”
“The two plants add to AGL’s credentials as Australia’s largest non-government owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation with over 1,900 MW of renewable capacity currently in operation.”
With more than two million solar panels, the two plants together cover 390 hectares of land, or almost 800 football fields. The Nyngan and Broken Hill Solar Plants combined are expected to produce about 360,000 MWh of renewable energy, powering more than 50,000 average Australian homes.
The two plants were constructed with $166.7 million funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $64.9 million from the NSW Government.
ARENA’s Ian Kay congratulated AGL and First Solar on the significant milestone, and said: “AGL and First Solar’s trail-blazing efforts at Nyngan and Broken Hill had delivered valuable knowledge about the challenges involved with designing, constructing and commissioning projects of this scale.”
Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia Pacific believes Australia is poised to take advantage of low-cost utility-scale solar, “In many parts of the world, solar energy is already cost-competitive with conventional generation. Considering the substantial and sustained cost reductions in the solar industry and the lessons learnt at projects like Nyngan and Broken Hill, it is inevitable that utility-scale solar projects in Australia will compete on an unsubsidised basis, in the near future.”
With sustainable energy becoming top priority and more than 1.4 million Australian homes already using solar power to control their electricity bills and support renewable energy, if you have any questions on the latest technology in the sector, read our detailed guides on how solar energy works, feed-in tariffs and home battery storage.