Renewable energy records smashed in January led by solar and wind

Wind farm green grass

The month of January has seen a number of Aussie states set records in renewable energy production, while clean power infrastructure in Western Australia continued to dominate the market

Across the country, three states saw new production records with New South Wales leading the way with the largest total output. Western Australia had the greatest performing individual utilities, with the top five wind farms and top two solar installations in the country all within the state.  

While individual solar plants in WA performed best, the majority of solar output for the month came from NSW, which contributed 535GW of Australia’s total 1,202GW. QLD followed second with 362GW of output.

Wind and solar production in Australia as a whole also reached all time highs, with the combined utility scale output of 3,628GW the largest on record according to Rystad Energy analyst, David Dixon. NSW provided more than one-quarter of the total output, with 995GW of production. 

Western Australia dominates top performing renewable installations

In Western Australia, wind and solar accounted for 40% of total energy output for the month, led by top performing large-scale renewable utilities. The state’s Badgingarra wind farm operated at 64% capacity factor over January, meaning it was operating at its full extent for almost two-thirds of the month. According to data from Rystad, the Badgingarra wind farm performed better than almost half of Australia’s major coal plants through the month, in terms of capacity. 

As renewables continue to rise, Australia has seen a notable drop in the performance and output of coal plants across the nation.

In total, six of WA's wind farms operated at over 50% capacity factor, while a seventh found its way into the nation’s top 10 performing wind farms. The state was also home to the country’s two top performing solar installations, with the Merredin solar farm leading Australia while operating at greater than a 45% capacity factor. 

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