Thousands of homes to be powered by the sun
Australia's two largest solar photovoltaic (PV) energy plants at Nyngan and Broken Hill have been completed by AGL Energy Limited and First Solar.
With more than two million solar panels, the Nyngan and Broken Hill Solar Plants together will produce enough renewable energy annually to power more than 50,000 Australian homes. NSW Businesses have also embraced the solar industry with over 5,000 installations, saving around $25 million each year on energy bills.
AGL is one of Australia's leading developers and operators, of renewable energy and has engaged First Solar as the main engineering contractor for the project. First Solar will build the power stations using its thin film PV technology and will maintain the facilities for an initial five year period following construction.
$166.7 million worth of support was provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) towards the completion of the projects. ARENA's Ian Kay congratulated AGL and First Solar on the significant milestone, noting it was the result of hard work and commitment over many years.
“In the future, this historic achievement will mark the moment 'big solar' started to become a major contributor to Australia's energy supply,” Mr Kay said.
Mr Kay also said that AGL and First Solar's trail-blazing efforts have delivered valuable knowledge about the challenges involved with designing, constructing and commissioning projects of this scale.
AGL estimates over 450 construction jobs will be created at the two project locations, with more local jobs created to support the construction workforces. Permanent local jobs will also be created to support ongoing plant operations at each site.
This project will help increase the knowledge of large-scale solar energy development in Australia. The two locations in NSW will also provide academic research on enabling Australian intellectual property in solar power generation to develop.
© Commonwealth of Australia. ARENA, (2016). Retrieved 21 January, 2016 from http://arena.gov.au/project/agl-solar-project/