AGL’s Broken Hill solar plant in western New South Wales has begun generating, with 26 MW of renewable energy feeding into the National Electricity Market for the first time.
When complete, the 53 MW Broken Hill Solar Plant will be Australia’s second largest large-scale solar plant behind its sister 102 MW Nyngan Solar Plant. All 678,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules are expected to be installed over the next few months, with the plant on track to be fully operational by the end of 2015.
ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, congratulated AGL and First Solar on the first generation achievement at Broken Hill and said it was an exciting time for utility-scale solar in Australia.
“We are entering a new era of large-scale solar in Australia. AGL’s twin solar farms are already feeding electricity into the grid and are on track to be fully operational this year. The ARENA-supported 56 MW Moree Solar Farm is expected to come on line in 2016 and we anticipate funding at least four new grid-connected projects through our $100 million large-scale solar competitive round, which is now open,” Mr Frischknecht said.
The Broken Hill Solar Plant is located five kilometres southwest of Broken Hill on the Barrier Highway, and covers an area of approximately 140 hectares.
AGL is constructing the Broken Hill and Nyngan plants with $166.7 million support from ARENA and $64.9 million from the NSW Government and in partnership with First Solar, local councils and local communities. When complete, the $440 million AGL solar project will have a combined generation capacity of up to 155 MW.