Australian energy giant AGL have announced they are set to move forward with the largest solar power project in the southern hemisphere in tandem with First Solar. Together, the two companies will construct a 102MW solar plant at Nyngan and a 53MW solar project at Broken Hill
Upon completion, the two project are set to produce 360,000 MWh of electricity each year, which is enough to power over 50,000 homes in New South Wales.
The projects are being funded in part by a $166.7 million of Commonwealth Government funding through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency(ARENA) as well as an additional $64.9 million in funding from the NSW Government. In total, the project will cost approximately $450 million, but will create somewhere in the range of 450 jobs.
“The Nyngan and Broken Hill solar projects will be Australia’s largest utility-scale solar projects, respectively, and demonstrate that utility-scale solar is a proven, bankable source of power generation in Australia today,” said Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Vice President of Business Development for Asia Pacific.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with AGL in delivering the solar projects, both of which are of major significance for regional New South Wales and the Australian energy sector. These projects will play an important part in the growing acceptance of utility-scale solar PV, and we applaud the Commonwealth Government and the NSW Government for their vision and commitment to the sector.”
“AGL is delighted to be working with First Solar and drawing on the team’s global expertise in this industry,” said Michael Fraser, AGL’s Managing Director. “We are eager to get this nationally significant project underway, and together we will provide the experience and commercial stability to help ensure the successful construction of the two solar plants.”
Construction of the Nyngan project is expected to commence early 2014 and set to be commercially operational by mid-2015. The Broken Hill project will begin construction mid 2014 with an estimated operation date by the end of 2015.