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Nyngan Solar Plant Achieves Full Generation

Posted 12 June 2015 3:12 PM by Ewan Norton Smith

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) has confirmed that the Nyngan solar plant in western New South Wales (NSW) has achieved full generation, sending 102MW of renewable energy into Australia’s National Electricity Market.

The AGL team worked closely with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and local distributor Essential Energy (EE) to make sure testing and commissioning were satisfactory to enable 100 percent generation. They have received confirmation from AEMO and EE to increase Nyngan solar plant’s generation to its full capacity of 102MW – enough to power 33,000 homes annually.

The Nyngan project has given western NSW an economic boost and provided many local workers with the opportunity to broaden their skills. Environment Minister Mark Speakman said this achievement was great news for the people of Nyngan and the wider NSW community. “It’s the culmination of many years of work by researchers, industry, government and the community. We’ve created a new era of large-scale solar energy in the Southern Hemisphere.”

Construction at Nyngan’s sister project, AGL’s Broken Hill solar plant, is also on schedule; the team has reached another significant milestone with 35 percent of First Solar’s 650,000 advanced PV modules installed. AGL is taking additional, important steps towards Broken Hill’s commissioning, progressing plans to energize the plant with Transgrid, the local network service provider.

The Broken Hill and Nyngan solar plants are expected to produce about 360,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year combined – enough to meet the needs of over 50,000 average homes in NSW. Total capital expenditure for the two projects is approximately $440 million, with $166.7 million being provided by the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $64.9 million from the NSW Government.

These achievements demonstrate how solar power can be deployed at utility-scale and seamlessly integrated into Australia’s electricity grid. The increased energy production and reliable long-term performance of the advanced technology that these plants were built on will continue to contribute to a lower levelized cost of electricity, highlighting our ability to successfully translate science into a commercially viable product.