Just off the Barrier Highway, a new “big” Australian landmark is on the cusp of completion with the installation of the final solar panel at the Broken Hill Solar Plant.
ARENA, AGL and First Solar today joined NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, the Hon Anthony Roberts MP and NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, the Hon Mark Speakman on site to see the last of 677,760 solar panels installed.
Acting ARENA CEO Ian Kay congratulated AGL and First Solar on the milestone.
“There is a real sense of momentum driving large-scale solar in Australia today. The Broken Hill and Nyngan solar plants are already supplying power to Australian homes and we now have $350 million available through ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which will further accelerate growth in the sector,” Mr Kay said.
“Large-scale solar has a vital role to play in Australia’s energy mix. ARENA’s $100 million large-scale solar round is well positioned to harness our world-class solar resource and double the capacity of our nation’s large-scale solar by encouraging investment, reducing finance costs and building robust supply chains.
“There has been serious interest in the round. We look forward to taking strong proposals forward and building on the significant achievements of AGL, First Solar and others.”
AGL Executive General Manager Group Operations, Doug Jackson said the Broken Hill Solar Plant was currently generating up to 27 MW of renewable energy into the grid and the remaining 26 MW was expected to be brought online this month.
“Renewable technology like our Broken Hill Solar Plant and its sister plant at Nyngan, play an important part in AGL’s transition towards a decarbonised economy. Broken Hill will contribute to the more than 1,900 MW of renewable capacity AGL currently has in operation or under development,” Mr Jackson said.
Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia Pacific said “Just six months after Australia’s largest solar plant at Nyngan was switched on, we are now another step closer to completing Australia’s two largest utility-scale solar plants in the same year. First Solar’s delivery record has set an industry benchmark and this milestone reaffirms the prominent role utility-scale solar PV will continue to play in Australia’s energy future”.
Acting ARENA CEO Ian Kay said AGL and First Solar had ably demonstrated that large-scale solar projects get easier with practice by applying learning from construction of the Nyngan sister plant at Broken Hill.
“ARENA has shared a myriad of knowledge throughout the construction of both plants, from how to most effectively procure equipment to managing local supply chains. This invaluable information will give future large-scale solar projects a head start,” Mr Kay said.
The $440 million AGL solar project is advancing large-scale solar energy expertise in Australia by constructing solar power stations in Nyngan and Broken Hill with $166.7 million ARENA support and $64.9 million NSW Government support.
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services.
AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and biomass.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today.
From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com
About NSW Government support for renewable energy
The NSW Government supports the development and uptake of renewable energy in the state. The NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan is the main driver for increasing the uptake of renewable energy in the state. The Plan’s three goals and 24 actions support the Government is committed to a secure, reliable, affordable and clean energy future for households and businesses in NSW and the national Renewable Energy Target.
The NSW Regional Clean Energy Program and the Renewable Energy Advocate work closely with NSW communities and the renewable energy industry to facilitate the development of renewable energy projects, increase renewable energy generation in NSW and help remove barriers and promote investment in renewable energy.
- Joint media release from The Hon. Greg Hunt MP and The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, 12 October 2015: Government investing in solar to power 50,000 homes