Nextracker chosen for Western Downs Green Power Hub

Nextracker, Moree Solar Farm
Moree Solar Farm

Nextracker has announced that its solar tracker technology NX Horizon has been chosen for Australia’s largest solar farm, a 460 megawatt-peak installation in Queensland’s Western Downs: the Western Downs Green Power Hub.

Independent power producer Neoen and the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Sterling and Wilson selected Nextracker based on the company’s track record of delivering significant energy yield gains.

Installation of the trackers on Western Downs Green Power Hub is due to begin in 2021.

Eighty per cent of the project was contracted to CleanCo under one of the country’s most substantial power purchase agreements to date. The project will help CleanCo reach its target of one gigawatt of newly installed renewable energy by 2025 and further the state’s broader target of 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

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Nextracker Australia & Oceania Peter Wheale said the company is honoured to be chosen by leading global companies.

“This milestone power plant builds upon Nextracker’s existing portfolio of four gigawatts in Australia,” he said.

“We have led the market by passionately delivering more customer value with best-in-class yield generation, client support and asset management technologies.”

Serving as the backbone across 40 gigawatts of solar power plants around the world, the NX Horizon smart solar tracker system combines best-in-class hardware and software to help EPCs and asset owners maximize performance and minimise operational costs.

Increased yield is achieved on projects using bifacial modules mounted on Nextracker’s 120-degree range of motion NX Horizon tracker. This includes a self-powered, independent-row system design in combination with the company’s patented TrueCapture technology, which has been proven on over 80 projects globally.

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In testing conducted at Nextracker’s Center for Solar Excellence in Fremont, California, and independently verified by PV Evolution Labs, NX Horizon delivered up to one to two per cent additional yield in bifacial applications compared to other traditional one-in-portrait trackers.

In the case of Western Downs Green Power Hub, a gain of 1.5 per cent would deliver over 15 gigawatt-hours per annum, or enough to power an additional 3000 homes.

Factors that give Nextracker’s NX Horizon an advantage over market alternatives in bifacial applications include its inherent system architecture minimizing the structure shading factor, the shed transparency fraction and module height at 1.35 to 1.5 metres.

Nextracker technology was used at the first utility-scale plant in Australia, the Moree solar farm in NSW, installed in 2015. Generating 30 per cent more energy over fixed tilt applications, Moree’s exemplary performance represents a model for Australia’s solar sector, out-performing modeled results in its sixth year of operation.

To read Nextracker’s latest white paper on quantifying bifacial gains, download it here.