Construction at AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) Nyngan Solar Plant in western New South Wales has reached a major milestone with the one millionth solar photovoltaic (PV) module being installed.
When completed, AGL’s Nyngan solar plant will have capacity of 102 MW, bolstering AGL’s existing 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 $3 billion in renewable energy projects.
During an inspection of the 250 hectare site today, Group General Manager Merchant Energy, Anthony Fowler, said he was pleased with how construction was progressing at what will be Australia’s largest utility-scale solar PV plant.
“A project of this magnitude has never been done in Australia before and together with project partners First Solar, we have reached the installation of the millionth module while remaining on track and on budget. It’s a credit to everyone working on the project.”
Mr Fowler was joined at the $290 million Nyngan solar plant by the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Anthony Roberts MP, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Chairman, Mr Greg Bourne, Bogan Shire Deputy Mayor Cr Jim Hamstead, First Solar as well as other state and local government officials and project employees.
“In total, 1.35 million advanced thin-film solar PV modules will be installed. If placed end-to-end, the modules would measure more than 1,600 kilometres, or the equivalent distance of Nyngan to Uluru as the crow flies,” said Mr Fowler.
First generation from Nyngan Solar Plant is expected to occur by next month and the plant will be fully operational by July 2015.
Once operational, the Nyngan Solar Plant will produce enough renewable electricity annually to supply more than 33,000 homes.
The Nyngan project has provided economic benefits for the regional community including employment, which during the peak of construction reached more than 250 people on site. Business in the local Nyngan area and wider Orana region have also benefited from local procurement and contracts associated with the construction of this project.
AGL is constructing the Nyngan Solar Plant along with the 53 MW Broken Hill Solar Plant with $166.7 million funding from ARENA and $64.9 million from the NSW Government. The two plants are being constructed in partnership with local councils, local communities, and First Solar._____________________________________
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 on 1 July 2012 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.
About NSW Government support for renewable energy
The NSW Government supports the development and uptake of the renewable energy in the state. The NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan will be the main driver for increasing the uptake of renewable energy in the state. The plan’s three goals and 24 actions will guide NSW’s renewable energy development and support the national target of achieving 20% electricity from renewable sources by 2020 at least cost to the energy customer and with maximum benefits to NSW.
The NSW Regional Clean Energy Program (RCEP) and the Renewable Energy Advocate will 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