The Nyngan Solar plant (NSW) has generated 60,000MWh of renewable energy since first opening in mid 2015, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Since achieving full generation in June 2015, the plant has been sending 102 MW of solar-generated electricity into the National Electricity Market.
ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said the successful beginning of Nyngan’s operations was a significant milestone in the development of Australia’s large-scale solar sector.
“AGL’s Solar Project at Nyngan and Broken Hill represents a big investment by the company and also by ARENA,” said Mr Frischknecht.
“It’s already achieving one of ARENA’s key aims of increasing the amount of renewable energy in Australia.
“And the knowledge gained from its successful launch and ongoing operations will lead to further improvements in technology and reductions in costs for the sector.”
The solar plant, a partnership between AGL Energy Limited (AGL) and First Solar, is expected to produce around 230,000 MWh of electricity annually which is sufficient to meet the needs of approximately 33,000 NSW homes.
Total capital expenditure for both the Nyngan and Broken Hill Solar Plant is approximately $440 million, with $166.7 million being provided by ARENA and $64.9 million coming from the NSW Government.
It has involved the installation of 1.36 million solar PV modules and has provided economic benefits for the regional community including employment, which peaked at more than 250 people during construction.
Mr Frischknecht said the $290 million plant has been successfully delivered on time and on budget.
“Nyngan becomes the third large-scale solar plant in Australia to begin generating power, after Royalla (ACT) and Greenough River (WA). Nyngan’s ‘twin’ plant at Broken Hill will soon begin operation and Moree Solar Farm is expected to produce power in early 2016.”
Mr Frischknecht said ARENA would soon launch its competitive funding round for large-scale solar projects, which will see the next generation of solar farms built across the country.