Australia is well and truly ready for big solar, with two key plants recently receiving recognition for their contribution to renewable energy in the country.
Large scale solar power systems are becoming more prevalent, with mining projects and even universities reaping the benefits of utilising stored solar energy. In order to celebrate the role that solar has come to play in Australia, two plants have been congratulated for reaching a significant achievement.
Solar power was also recognised by the Australian government for boosting the local economy as well as contributing to job growth.
Key solar plants now host two million panels
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) recently reported that its two biggest solar photovoltaic (PV) plants – Nyngan and Broken Hill – have reached a significant milestone. Altogether, these two solar farms contain more than 2 million panels (2,044,140).
Moreover, the two sites generate 360,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, as estimated by ARENA. This indicates the key role that solar power can play in diversifying Australia’s energy supply.
ARENA’s acting CEO Ian Kay congratulated AGL and First Solar, the companies behind the two plants, on their renewable energy achievement and the influence they have had on other renewable energy projects.
“The lessons learned during Nyngan’s construction were immediately applied at Broken Hill, reducing construction times. ARENA looks forward to the next cohort of projects building on this success and knowledge to lower costs and speed up development even further,” said Mr Kay.
“Ultimately, this momentum will allow us to capitalise on Australia’s world-leading solar resource and speed up the transition to renewable energy for our electricity needs.”
The Australian government has also expressed its recognition for this achievement, with Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt also present at the site to offer his congratulations.
Solar plants could power 50,000 homes
Mr Hunt stated the important impact that renewable energy has had on Australia’s solar capabilities and the economy overall, particularly in the geographical areas these two plants are centred.
“The 102 MW Nyngan and 53 MW Broken Hill solar plants have more than doubled Australia’s large-scale solar capacity and can generate enough electricity to power 50,000 average Australian homes,” said Mr Hunt.
“As well as reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 301,560 tonnes a year and helping advance large-scale solar technology in Australia, the AGL solar plants delivered some 400 jobs during the construction phase and injected close to $29 million into local economies.”
Mr Hunt stated that large-scale solar power systems can help enhance innovation and increase the renewable energy opportunities across the country. The Australian federal government has encouraged innovation in business with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launching the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December 2015.
Incorporating renewable energy into a project can help enhance innovation and create a more diverse energy supply, rather than relying only on non-renewable energy. This can be done alongside existing non-renewable energy, which still has a key role to play. As such, hybrid power systems can provide the benefits of both sources of power.
With Australia truly embracing large-scale solar, renewable energy is becoming easier to fit into a project. The Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants have paved the way for solar power to be used in more projects and help the country lead the way for renewable energy.
Are you interested in utilising stored solar energy on your site? Contact the expert team at MPower, who have the knowledge and expertise to help guide you through the process.