AGL Announces Broken Hill Solar Plant Has Started Generating Electricity

Australian utility AGL Energy Limited has announced its Broken Hill Solar Plant has begun generating electricity.

Announced on Thursday, AGL Energy Limited revealed that the 26 MW Broken Hill Solar Plant, located in the the eastern state of New South Wales, began generating electricity and feeding it into Australia’s National Electricity Market. The plant is not fully completed yet, with the currently-installed 26 MW only representing half of the expected 53 MW.

gallery img 05The full compliment of 678,000 solar PV modules are expected to be installed over the next few months, and AGL notes that the plant is “on track to be fully operational by the end of this year.”

“We are very pleased to have achieved first generation which requires a lot of testing and coordination from multiple project partners,” said AGL Executive General Manager Group Operations, Doug Jackson. “We have worked closely with the local network services provider, TransGrid, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and project partner First Solar to ensure generation was successful.”

“Once fully operational the Broken Hill plant will produce enough renewable energy to power 17,000 homes annually,” Mr Jackson added.

Once finished, the Broken Hill Solar Plant will be the second largest utility-scale solar power plant in the country, falling in behind its sister plant, the 102 MW Nyngan Solar Plant, also located in New South Wales.

“Together with its facility at Nyngan, AGL has developed the two largest solar farms in the southern hemisphere here in NSW – valuable assets to our State’s power industry and a sign of our commitment to grow a clean and diverse energy supply,” said the NSW Minister for Industry Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts.

“NSW is leading Australia in supporting the clean energy sector, which contributes to lower energy costs and provides employment and investment particularly in regional communities.”

Image Credit: Worker installing modules at a First Solar project at Broken Hill Solar Plant via AGL Energy Limited

Joshua S Hill

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13 thoughts on “AGL Announces Broken Hill Solar Plant Has Started Generating Electricity

  • Go Aussies!! Crank it!!

    • Allow me *to show you a fantastic ways to earn a lot of extra dollars by finishing basic tasks from your house for few short hours a day — See more info by visiting >MY_DISQUS_PROFILE

  • It produces energy despite being broken? 😉

    BTW, Congrats on dumping Tony Abbott!!! I just hope Turnbull is a little better. Couldn’t be much worse.

    • Agreed with your comment re: Abbott.

  • Good news, for sure!

    One wish on reporting however: even if included in the PR release, could you just drop the “enough to power N homes”? It is useless in many ways and this has been discussed over multiple times, so could it be finally retired from articles here?

    • Agreed, if write thinks MW doesn’t work. Then we need a standard conversion. Say take estimated yearly production/NYC 2000 consumption and you get x.y NYC, 1/1000 is a milli-NYC

  • That’s what I like about building with solar – You get partway through the build and you can start producing power and hence start getting your money back without having to wait for the complete farm to be built.

    • And the time is measured in months. And you don’t need billions of dollars to get started. No radioactive waste, or fly ash. You don’t need water, a gas pipeline, or a railroad.

  • Once the fall in the Australian dollar is taken into account, this is really cheap per watt in terms of US dollars. Not that far from $1 US. The electricity market return of around 3 US cents a kilowatt-hour is not great but as any solar electricity produced in New South Wales tends to chew into coal production, the savings in greenhouse gas emissions and health costs make it far more than worthwhile. Unfortunately we don’t currently price in any of these externalities so federal and/or state government assistance is required for these projects.

  • Also, I am glad to hear from NSW Minister for Industry Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, that New South Wales is leading Australia in supporting the clean energy sector. Because if he hadn’t told me I might have thought that a state that gets almost 90% of its electricity from coal would be behind South Australia which now gets maybe only about 25% of its electricity from coal and may close its last operating coal power station in six months. But sometimes you need someone to lead from behind like that. Because when you think about it, it’s a lot easier to lead when someone is showing you the way.

    (And Tasmania already generates renewable electricity greater than it’s entire consumption, but as always, they don’t count.)

    • “And Tasmania already generates renewable electricity greater than it’s entire consumption, but as always, they don’t count.”

      Could they put in a DC line to offload their excess power? Some countries in Europe have done this.

      • They already have Basslink across Bass Strait to the mainland which is a 500 megawatt High Voltage Direct Current interconnector. Tasmania uses it to make good money by selling renewable electricity to Victoria when wholesale electricity prices are high and they import electricity when prices are low and use it to maintain water levels in their hydroelectric dams. A very useful arrangement.

        With increased wind capacity they could export much more clean electricity in a very reliable load following way, as Tasmania’s wind resources are wonderful. (China has set up a wind turbine testing center there, presumably to test turbines for export in conditions that aren’t found in China and for the international testing cred.)

        • Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

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