AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL’s) Nyngan Solar Olant in western New South Wales (NSW) has achieved full generating, contributing 102MW of renewable energy into the National Electricity Market. Combined with its sister solar plant Broken Hill Solar Power Plant, the two plants have a cumulative capacity of 155MW and bolster AGL’s credentials as the largest ASX-listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in Australia.
In the last decade, AGL has invested more than US$3 billion in renewable energy projects. AGL Project Manager, Adam Cackett, said the team has been working very closely with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and local distributor Essential Energy (EE) to make sure testing and commissioning was satisfactory to enable 100% generation.
“This is a great achievement for the largest utility-scale solar PV plant ever built in Australia. We have received confirmation from both AEMO and EE to increase generation to full capacity of 102 MW which is enough to power 33,000 homes annually, or the equivalent of supplying electricity to residents in a city more than twice the size of Dubbo, in western NSW, for a year,” said Mackett. “We will now be conducting final commissioning and testing ahead of the plant being fully operational next month.”
Construction at the 53 MW Broken Hill plant is on schedule, explained Mackett. When completely constructed, the two solar plants are expected to produce approximately 360,000 MWh of electricity, enough for powering over 50,000 average NSW homes.
First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia Pacific, Jack Curtis reinforced this, adding, “This achievement demonstrates how utility-scale solar PV power can be deployed at scale and seamlessly integrated into Australia’s electricity grid.”
Total capital expenditure for the two projects is approximately US$440 million, with US$166.7 million being provided by the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $64.9 million from the NSW Government.
AGL will deliver the solar plants in partnership with local councils and communities, project partner First Solar, as well ARENA and the NSW Government.