AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) Nyngan Solar Plant in western New South Wales moved one step closer to completion today with the last of the 1.36 million (1,366,380) solar photovoltaic (PV) modules being installed.
AGL Managing Director and CEO, Andy Vesey, today visited the site and installed the final modules together with project partner representatives; NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, the Hon Anthony Roberts; NSW Minister for Environment, the Hon Mark Speakman; Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) CFO, Ian Kay; First Solar’s Asia-Pacific Regional Manager Jack Curtis; and Bogan Shire Mayor, Cr Ray Donald.
“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,” said Mr Vesey.
“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,” said Mr Vesey.
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,” Mr Frischknecht said.
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.
AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies and is the largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. 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 taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for investors, communities and customers.
About the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
ARENA was established by the Australian Government to make renewable energy technologies more affordable and increase the amount of renewable energy used in Australia. ARENA invests in renewable energy projects, supports research and development activities, boosts job creation and industry development, and increases knowledge about renewable energy. ARENA is currently supporting more than 200 projects and is actively seeking new projects to support. Visit www.arena.gov.au
About NSW Government support for renewable energy
The NSW Government supports the development and uptake of renewable energy in the state. The NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan is the main driver for increasing the uptake of renewable energy in the state. The Plan’s three goals and 24 actions support the Government is committed to a secure, reliable, affordable and clean energy future for households and businesses in NSW and the national Renewable Energy Target. The NSW Regional Clean Energy Program (RCEP) and the Renewable Energy Advocate work closely with NSW communities and the renewable energy industry to facilitate the development of renewable energy projects, increase renewable energy generation in NSW and help remove barriers and promote investment in renewable energy.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com