Greek resources and renewables company Mytilineos announced on Thursday that it had begun building the $130 million Wyalong Solar Farm which is being developed by its Renewables and Storage Development Business Unit with power generation expected to begin later this year.
The 75 MW Wyalong Solar Farm, which will sell about half of its output to publicly owned telecommunications company NBN Co under a 10-year power purchase agreement, is being developed on a 260-hectare site about 10 kilometres northeast of West Wyalong.
Approximately 127,000 solar panels will be installed on the site, with an estimated 150 jobs to be created in the construction phase. Generation is expected to begin in late 2022 with the output enough to power the equivalent of 27,000 Australian homes.
More than half of the output has already been allocated with NBN Co committed to purchasing 51% of the power generated by the asset, which it says will help it achieve its goal to switch to 100% renewable energy by the end of 2025.
Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, who attended a sod-turning ceremony at the site on Thursday, said the project would supply the NBN with about 80 GWh per annum, enough to supply the broadband network with close to 20% of its energy needs.
“This initiative will not only support NBN Co with their climate transition, it will also support Australia’s transition to net zero and create up to 150 jobs in the Griffith and West Wyalong community and stimulate the local economy,” the minister said.
“It is critical Australian organisations and communities find ways to reduce emissions, and NBN Co through its 100% renewables commitment is not only reducing emissions, it is also the first Australian telecommunications company and Australian government business enterprise to join the global RE100 initiative.”
The start of construction at the Wyalong project comes in the same week that Western Australian company Pilecom announced it had completed works at Mytilineos’ 100 MW Moura Solar Farm in Central Queensland, just five months after construction began.
The Moura solar farm comprises an estimated 185,000 solar modules mounted on a single axis tracking system, spread across approximately 203 hectares.
The project is on track for energisation later this year with network operator Powerlink confirming the construction of the required connection infrastructure, including a new feeder bay at the Moura Substation and associated connection work, has already been completed.
Once operational, the project is expected to generate enough renewable electricity to power more than 43,000 homes. But even before it comes online, more than half of the output has been allocated through a long-term PPA with Queensland government-owned generator CS Energy.
The project is one of a suite of solar farms acquired by Mytilineos from Esco Pacific in late 2020.
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