Utility scale solar is an important part of a diverse energy mix. AGL operates large scale solar plants at Nyngan and Broken Hill, and we’re also progressing an application for Wellington North Solar Plant.
Adding to the mix
Earlier this week, AGL welcomed Maoneng Australia’s announcement that it had reached financial close for the 255 megawatt (MW) Sunraysia Solar Farm. This solar farm is underpinned by Power Purchase Agreements under which UNSW Sydney and AGL Energy purchase the solar energy generated over 15 years.
As noted in the Maoneng Australia media release, the solar farm “will be the largest solar farm to have commenced construction in Australia this year and will be one of the largest solar farms in the world upon construction completion”.
“The energy that AGL obtains under this Power Purchase Agreement will help contribute to our diverse energy mix.”
What’s the case for an energy mix?
As traditional coal fired power stations progressively reach the end of their operating life, we have had a think about how we can replace them at the least cost. We've done the sums and what makes the most sense is cheap, renewable energy from wind and solar combined with more flexible energy sources, like quick-start gas generation that we can turn on whenever renewables aren't available. This is an energy mix.
What’s in the mix?
- remaining coal-fired power,
- renewable energy from wind, solar and hydro, and
- flexible generation like pumped hydro or quick-start gas fired generation like Barker Inlet Power Station which is currently under construction.
How does solar contribute?
AGL is also undergoing a planning assessment for a 300 MW solar plant near Wellington, New South Wales.