Clean Power

Published on January 20th, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill


Australia’s Two Largest Solar PV Plants Completed, Doubles Large-Scale Capacity

January 20th, 2016 by  

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.”

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  • jeffhre

    The door has barely closed on the Abbott governments exit – give the Aussies a chance!

    • FruityPimpernel

      Aussie householders are already doing great when it comes to rooftop PV (thanks, is it fair to say, in large part to being rorted by the electricity utilities on their bills and no thanks to the minimal PV incentives?). It’s the solar investment at scale that still seems to be lacking. I’m not an Aussie so perhaps I’ve missed it but I’ve not read about Turnbull administration plans for any kind of grand solar revolution. Nor have I got much general sense the political or business classes there see solar as the golden opportunity it must surely be for Australia. Perhaps I’m wrong but there seems to be a paucity of ambition down under when it comes to solar.

  • neroden

    This is doubling *utility-scale* solar in Australia, right? I seriously doubt it’s doubling *total* solar.

  • jburt56

    Go Aussies!!

  • JamesWimberley

    The “50,000 households” meme, unhelpful at the best of times, is especially so for a solar plant built for a mine in the deep Outback miles from the nearest city. The population of Broken Hill was19,048 when last counted.

    • Roger Lambert

      From what I can tell with a quick googling, the power is going into the national grid.

      • Ronald Brakels

        There is a transmission line that can handle about 40 megawatts going to Broken Hill. And forty megawatts is likely to be very close to Broken Hill’s peak demand. They would have built it with spare capacity, but I don’t know how much Broken Hill’s power demand has changed over the 30 years since it was errected. The solar farm’s maximum output is likely to be something like 40 megawatts, as it is inverter limited. This means they could export its entire output if they wanted to.

    • MikeM

      It’s only about 5mi (roughly WSW) from the center of Broken Hill. Check out Google Maps satellite view.

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