The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) welcomed the news that the Moree Solar Farm in Northern New South Wales had successfully achieved first generation. What may be the largest solar farm in Australia to date, is a tracker-based system, using trackers from NexTracker.
Moree Solar Farm, developed by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), is now feeding 56 MW of renewable solar energy into the National Electricity Market, enough to power 15,000 average homes.
FRV CEO Rafael Benjumea said the company was very proud to have delivered the first utility scale single axis tracking and largest polycrystalline solar farm in Australia on time and on budget.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said large-scale solar in Australia was making solid headway towards reaching commercial maturity.
“In the last six months we’ve seen more than 210 MW from ARENA-supported solar farms start feeding into the grid and powering Australian homes and businesses with renewable energy,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“The Nyngan, Broken Hill and Moree solar farms, along with approximately 200 MW set to be built through ARENA’s $100 million large-scale solar round, will help push costs down by developing local supply chains, increasing financier confidence and advancing innovative renewable technologies.
“The various projects underway and in the pipeline clearly demonstrate there are a range of technology pathways to success with big solar. In the case of Moree Solar Farm, single-axis tracking is being used to capture more of the sun’s energy as it moves across the sky.”
The project was awarded 2014 Asia Pacific Solar Transaction of the Year by IJ Global, an award which recognises excellence, achievement and innovation in energy and infrastructure finance.
ARENA is providing $101.7 million funding support to Moree Solar Farm as well as driving knowledge sharing about the lessons learned during planning, design and construction. The CEFC has provided a debt finance commitment of $46 million.
More than three quarters of the 150 jobs created since construction commenced in March 2015 have been taken up by local workers. During the ongoing operation of the project there will be up to five full time employees at the Moree Solar Farm.
Moree Solar Farm is scheduled for full completion in April 2016.