AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) Nyngan Solar Plant in western New South Wales moved one step closer to completion with the last of the 1.36 million (1,366,380) solar photovoltaic (PV) modules being installed.
AGL Managing Director and CEO, Andy Vesey, visited the site and installed the final modules together with project partner representatives and had this to say about the project:
The Nyngan Solar Plant is an extremely impressive facility on both an Australian and world scale. I am proud to be able to mark this milestone and also see about half the Plant now online and delivering clean, renewable energy into the grid.
Low-emission technology like our Nyngan Solar Plant is an important part of AGL’s journey towards a decarbonised electricity generation sector. We are pleased to be adding to AGL’s and Australia’s portfolio of renewable energy generation and assets.
We are also proud of the economic support we have provided to the region. On average our project has seen a monthly spend of between $350,000 to $500,000 in local communities on indirect costs, including accommodation, food, petrol and other suppliers to support the project’s construction.
The remaining 50 percent of generation from the last two sections of modules will be progressively brought online in the next few months.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said ARENA had been working with AGL and First Solar during the project’s planning and construction stages to ensure the energy industry would benefit from their experiences.
To date we have published 19 reports covering a range of topics from planning, approvals and logistics to procurement, construction and grid connection. Pooling and sharing this knowledge will make it easier and cheaper to develop large scale solar plants in Australia by helping reduce financial, regulatory and technical barriers.
First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia Pacific Jack Curtis said the project was helping to advance the commercialisation of large-scale solar PV in Australia.
“First Solar’s modules have dramatically improved in efficiency in recent years and this project demonstrates the increasing commercial competitiveness of our technology. Utility scale solar PV is already cost competitive with conventional generation in many parts of the world and will increasingly deliver economic stimulus to rural Australia,” Mr Curtis said.
- Once completed the 102 MW Nyngan Solar Plant will be the largest in Australia, producing enough clean renewable energy to power more than 33,000 homes annually.
- In the last decade AGL has invested more than $3 billion in renewable energy projects.
- AGL is constructing the Nyngan Solar Plant and the 53 MW Broken Hill Solar Plant with $166.7 million funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $64.9 million from the NSW Government. Both plants are being constructed in partnership with First Solar, local councils, and local communities.