Solar shorts: 120MW solar farm gets tick of approval
Engie’s proposed $191 million Silverleaf Solar Farm to be developed just north of Narrabri in the New England region of New South Wales (NSW) has received the tick of approval from the state’s Department of Planning and Environment.
To be constructed on a 330-hectare site about four kilometres north of Narrabri, the Silverleaf Solar Farm will comprise approximately 440,000 solar panels installed on single axis trackers. A transmission corridor will also be constructed, supporting 132kV power lines which will connect to Transgrid’s existing Narrabri substation.
Engie has not yet determined a start date for construction but expects the project will take between nine and 12 months to build.
The project builds on Engie’s Australian portfolio which includes 1.1GW of operating gas-fired power plants, 165 MW of operating wind farms and a 2GW pipeline of solar, wind and large-scale batteries under development.
The Australian arm of Canadian clean energy investment firm Amp Energy has announced that the 85MW Hillston Solar Farm in the Riverina region of south-western NSW has achieved 100% generation.
Amp Australia head Dean Cooper said the Hillston solar farm in the state’s south-west has reached full production in less than three months from first energisation.
”Reaching full output ahead of schedule is a testament to the cooperation of all stakeholders, in particular the distribution network service provider Essential Energy, and the proactive management from our local team,” he said.
The Hillston project will generate approximately 235,000MWh of clean energy annually, the equivalent annual power consumption of approximately 48,000 households.
The generation milestone increases Amp’s operating portfolio in Australia to 115MW after the successful energisation earlier this year of its Molong Solar Farm.
The company is also moving ahead with the development of the 1.3GW Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia. The $2 billion hub is to include large-scale solar projects at Robertstown, Bungama and Yoorndoo Ilga totalling up to 1.36GWdc of generation supported by a total battery energy storage capacity of 540MW.
Infrastructure investor Federation Asset Management has agreed to buy a majority stake in the Riverina and Darlington Point battery energy storage project being developed in NSW’s southwest by Australian renewable energy and storage company Edify Energy.
The project, which has a combined 150MW/300MWh of storage capacity spread over three individual but co-located assets, is being developed in the state’s Riverina region. The project comprises the 60MW/120MWh Riverina Energy Storage System 1, the 65MW/130MWh Riverina Energy Storage System 2 and the 25MW/50MWh Darlington Point Energy Storage System.
Federation Asset Management, which paid an undisclosed sum for a majority share in the project, said it will serve as the seed asset for its Sustainable Australian Real Asset (SARA) fund, pitched as the only energy transition fund focused on Australia.
Edify, which will retain a minority stake in the assets, will manage the construction and commissioning of the battery projects and will act as asset manager for the project.
The project, which plans to connect into Transgrid’s network via the Darlington Point substation, seeks to utilise Tesla’s Megapack systems to provide flexible, dispatchable capacity to the NSW market, and complement the region’s renewable generation, including the 275MW Darlington Point Solar Farm, developed by Edify Energy and UK-based investor Octopus.
Construction on the project is due to start later this year and be completed by early-2024, with enough potential to power more than 46,000 homes for two hours of peak demand.
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