AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today announced that construction is scheduled to commence in January 2014 for the $300 million Nyngan Solar Plant, following Australian manufacturing company IXL Group being awarded the contract by First Solar to supply major structural components for the project. 

The construction phase of the project will create around 300 jobs in the Nyngan region, with the majority of workers expected to be housed in an accommodation camp soon to be built in Nyngan.

Construction will take approximately 18 months to complete and will deliver a significant boost to the local and regional economies.  This includes generating business for local suppliers and associated roll-on effects such as more jobs created in restaurants, hotels and local companies.

AGL’s Manager Power Development, Adam Mackett, believes that it is an exciting time for Nyngan as this significant investment by AGL, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the New South Wales Government finally comes to fruition.

“Right now we’re looking at engaging local contractors to build necessary fencing at the site and a major intersection and roadworks. We hope to have those contractors on board before Christmas,” Mr Mackett said.

“We’re also also committed to community engagement and support throughout the life of the project and are proud to announce we will again be the major sponsor of the AGL Nyngan Ag Expo in August 2014.”

Upon completion, AGL’s Nyngan Solar Plantwill be the largest solar power station in the Southern Hemisphere. It will occupy approximately 250 hectares of land, located about 10 kilometres west of the Nyngan township and will include more than 1,350,000 solar PV modules.

AGL’s Nyngan Solar Plant will produce approximately 230,000 MW hours of clean renewable electricity every year, which is the equivalent of supplying energy to more than 33,000 average NSW homes.¹

The 102 MW solar plant will be complemented by AGL’s second solar plant at Broken Hill, due to commence construction in mid-2014. Together the two solar plants will deliver a total capacity of 155 MW of energy for NSW.

“It is now full-steam ahead for both projects with Nyngan on the eve of construction. It’s an exciting time not just because of the economic benefits to the regions but also the environmental benefits – the savings in CO emissions alone will equate to about 82,000 fewer cars on the roads,” said Mr Mackett.”

The Nyngan Solar Plant is expected to be fully operational by June 2015 and Broken Hill Solar Plant by November 2015.

¹Based on equivalent NSW homes powered @ 7 MWh/yr. 230,000 MW hours per year is calculated by multiplying the plant’s power capacity of 102 MW by the total number of hours in a calendar year then by the operating capacity of 26 percent which reflects the proportion of sunlight hours.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.