With the last of 677,760 solar PV modules installed, Broken Hill Solar Plant in western New South Wales has achieved full capacity, sending 53MW of renewable energy into the National Electricity Market.
AGL executive general manager group operations Doug Jackson said the team has been working closely with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and local network service provider TransGrid during testing and commissioning of the plant to enable 100 per cent generation.
The solar plant, which will produce enough renewable energy to power 17,000 homes every year, is part of AGL’s pathway to the decarbonisation of its electricity generation fleet by 2050.
NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the compressed commissioning phase, which has resulted in full generation, sends a positive signal for large-scale solar in Australia people of Broken Hill and the wider NSW community.
“I congratulate AGL on achieving the first generation from this plant and I am particularly pleased as this is the culmination of many years’ work. We’ve created a new era for large-scale solar energy in the Southern Hemisphere and intend to capitalise on this momentum,” he said.
To date, $15 million has been injected into the local Broken Hill community for direct construction activities as well as indirectly through workers purchasing accommodation, food, petrol and other supplies locally.
AGL is delivering the Broken Hill project along with the 102MW Nyngan solar plant in partnership with the NSW Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Broken Hill City Council, and local community as well as project partner, First Solar. Total capital expenditure for the two projects is approximately $440 million, with $166.7 million being provided by the ARENA and $64.9 million from the NSW Government.