Queensland 25MW community solar online, Western Australia co-located PV farm nears construction

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The project received AU$22.8 million (US$17.1 million) funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Credit: ARENA

The 25MW Barcaldine Remote Community Solar Farm in Queensland, Australia, has started feeding electricity to the grid two months ahead of schedule.

The plant developed by Elecnor Australia, a subsidiary of Spain-based energy firm Elecnor, is expected to reach full generation by the end of this year. It will be able power the equivalent of around 9,800 households by generating around 57,000MWh of clean energy per year. It includes more than 78,000 solar panels on single-axis trackers.

The project received AU$22.8 million (US$17.1 million) funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and AU$20 million in debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said: “As well as generating clean energy, the project is demonstrating how project developers can monetise network benefits and ultimately how solar farms can improve network efficiency and reliability at the edge of the grid.”

Western Australia’s first co-located wind and PV farm

Energy infrastructure company APA Group will begin construction of the Emu Downs Solar Farm in Western Australia (WA) within two weeks following the signing of a funding agreement with ARENA. This is the first solar farm in WA to be co-located with wind turbines, in this case with APA’s existing 80MW Emu Downs Wind Farm.

Frischknecht said: “This approach saves money on grid connection, approvals and site development and reduces environmental impacts. Solar and wind are complementary renewable energy sources. As solar generates energy during the day, wind farms tend to generate more power overnight. In WA, co-locating wind and solar delivers more continuous energy generation and makes good business sense.

“Across the board, the move to co-location of wind and solar means solar plants can be rolled out more quickly and cheaply across the country. A recent ARENA-supported study found there’s an estimated 1000MW of potential opportunities to add solar alongside existing wind farms – that’s enough to power 700,000 homes.”

The plant will produce enough energy to power 6,700 homes while creating an estimated 100 jobs during construction, mostly in the local region.

Emu Downs Solar Farm has entered into a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to sell electricity and generation certificates to energy retailer, Synergy.”

Major power firm EnergyAustralia recently confirmed it will soon sign PPAs for 500MW of wind and solar projects across eastern Australia, in contracts worth AU$1.5 billion (US$1.12 billion).

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 23, 2021
A reduction in deployment costs combined with technology gains mean solar-plus-storage is an increasingly attractive option for off-grid mining operations looking to cut emissions. Jules Scully looks at successful case studies and the opportunity ahead.
July 19, 2021
Machine learning techniques have been used in a study to boost the accuracy of renewables forecasts by up to 45%, helping improve grid operations in Australia.
July 16, 2021
The new chief of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has said he wants the country’s grids to be capable of handling 100% renewables by 2025.
July 13, 2021
Solar PV capacity in Asia Pacific could triple to 1,500GW by 2030, with China driving deployment and Indonesia set to be the region’s fastest-growing market, according to Wood Mackenzie.
July 13, 2021
A renewable energy hub consisting of up to 50GW of solar and wind generation for the production of green hydrogen is being planned for Western Australia.
July 12, 2021
Investor confidence in the Australian clean energy market has been dented by “unhelpful and unpredictable” government interventions.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
July 29, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021