Australian utility AGL and global solar PV manufacturer and provider First Solar have completed Australia’s two largest solar PV plants, doubling the country’s total solar PV capacity.
The 102 MW Nyngan and the 53 MW Broken Hill solar projects are the two largest projects in the country, and reached completion this week and are now feeding electricity into the national electricity grid thanks to 2,044,140 solar panels. Together, the plants are now producing approximately 360,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, the equivalent of powering more than 50,000 average Australian households.
“Australia has some of the most intense sunshine in the world, and there is obviously an incredibly bright future for large-scale solar in this country,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton. “The first time you build a new technology on a large scale such as this, a whole host of challenges and opportunities become apparent. Trail-blazing projects like AGL’s at Broken Hill and Nyngan make building the next generation of solar power plants cheaper and more efficient, and that’s great for the entire industry.”
“In the future, this historic achievement will mark the moment big solar started to become a major contributor to Australia’s energy supply,” said Ian Kay, acting CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). “It comes less than a week after ARENA released the shortlist of 22 projects invited to progress to the next stage of its $100 million large-scale solar PV competitive round.”
“This new funding has attracted unprecedented interest from the sector and all levels of government, and is set to double the nation’s large-scale solar generation in two years.”
“The AGL plants, along with other ARENA-supported large-scale solar projects currently underway and the $100 million funding round, are part of ARENA’s efforts to make large-scale solar in Australia more competitive with other sources of energy generation,” added Kay. “Ultimately, this momentum will allow us to capitalise on Australia’s world-leading solar resource and speed up the transition to renewable energy for our electricity needs.”