AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) Broken Hill Solar Plant in western New South Wales today moved towards its final stages of completion with the last of the 677,760 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules being installed.
AGL Executive General Manager Group Operations, Doug Jackson, today 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) Acting CEO, Ian Kay; First Solar’s Project Manager, Samantha Coras; and Broken Hill City Council representatives including Councillor Christine Adams.
“The Broken Hill Solar Plant is on track and on budget for completion later this year. I am proud to mark today’s milestone and acknowledge the enormous effort of the module installers who each installed 300 modules per day, which is equivalent to lifting 3.6 tonnes a day.
“Today the Plant generates up to 27 MW of renewable energy into the grid and the remaining 26 MW is expected to be brought online this month. Renewable technology like our Broken Hill Solar Plant and its sister plant at Nyngan, play an important part in AGL’s transition towards a decarbonised economy. Broken Hill will contribute to the more than 1,900 MW of renewable capacity AGL currently has in operation or under development.
“The project has also provided significant economic support to the local region, so far injecting around $15 million through local contractors and indirect costs, including accommodation, food, petrol and other suppliers during the project’s construction. AGL also provides ongoing sponsorship of community projects and events such as the St Pats Races,” said Mr Jackson.
The $150 million Broken Hill Solar Plant is five kilometres southwest of Broken Hill and will cover an area of approximately 140 hectares.
Acting ARENA CEO Ian Kay congratulated AGL and First Solar on the milestone. “There is a real sense of momentum driving large-scale solar in Australia today. The Broken Hill and Nyngan solar plants are already supplying power to Australian homes and we now have $350 million available through ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which will further accelerate growth in the sector,” Mr Kay said.
According to Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia Pacific, “Just six months after Australia’s largest solar plant at Nyngan was switched on, we are now another step closer to completing Australia’s two largest utility-scale solar plants in the same year. First Solar’s delivery record has set an industry benchmark and this milestone reaffirms the prominent role utility-scale solar PV will continue to play in Australia’s energy future,” said Mr. Curtis.
› Once completed the 53 MW Broken Hill Solar Plant will be the second largest in Australia, behind its sister solar plant at Nyngan.
› Broken Hill solar plant will produce enough renewable energy to power more than 17,000 homes annually.
› In the last decade AGL has built $2 billion in renewable energy projects.
› AGL is Australia’s largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation with over 1,900 MW of renewable capacity currently in operation or under development.
› 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