The heritage listed destination synonymous with Mad Max and the birth of Australia’s mining sector will soon be home to one of the country’s largest solar farms.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the first of around 650,000 panels had recently been installed by First Solar at AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) $150 million Broken Hill solar photovoltaic (PV) plant.
“When complete, the 53 MW plant will power up to 17,000 homes with renewable energy,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Construction is well underway with all of the module-holding posts and brackets installed and supporting electrical connection works complete.”
The Broken Hill plant is part of the $440 million AGL solar project. The 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.
Mr Frischknecht said the latest milestone followed the final panel installation at AGL’s Nyngan solar plant and added to a growing number of successful large scale solar projects in Australia.
“To mark the milestone, Broken Hill City Council Mayor Wincen Cuy and General Manager Therese Manns will tour the Broken Hill plant on Wednesday ahead of the sixth community consultation,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“As with Nyngan, the local Broken Hill community has been involved every step of the way, demonstrating how renewable energy initiatives can benefit regional Australia.
“Half of the 85 people currently working on the Broken Hill site are from the local region, with the workforce expected to rise to approximately 150 during peak construction.
“The Broken Hill site is an ideal location for a solar power plant. It has one of the highest levels of solar radiation in NSW and a nearby existing substation for effective connection into the National Electricity Market.
“The plant is already benefitting from lessons learned at Nyngan. AGL plans to draw on the knowledge of employees who worked on Nyngan to assist with training and continuous improvement for Broken Hill and future solar projects.”
The Broken Hill plant is scheduled for completion in late 2015 and the Nyngan plant is scheduled for completion in July 2015.
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies and is the largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia’s largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. 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, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for investors, communities and customers.
About First Solar
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 (RCEP) 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.
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Media release – Solar plant taking shape at iconic Broken Hill (PDF 283KB)