Australia’s “largest” solar energy projects have been given the green light after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) reached a financial agreement with the developers.
AGL Energy Limited (AGL) will build a 102MW solar plant at Nyngan and a 53MW plant (pictured) at Broken Hill, estimated to cost around $450 million (£266m) in total. ARENA and the New South Wales Government will provide $166.7 million (£99m) and $64.9 million (£38.3m) to support the delivery of the projects.
The plants are expected to produce around 360,000MWh of electricity – enough to power more than 50,000 homes – and the projects will also help create around 450 construction jobs in total.
Michael Fraser, AGL’s Managing Director said: “Solar PV in Australia has come a long way from being a small-scale industry in a relatively short time frame. The Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants will be the nation’s largest solar projects with the Nyngan plant also being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.”
Construction of the Nyngan project is expected to start in January next year, with completion scheduled by mid-2015 whilst the Broken Hill project will start in July 2014 and is expected to be completed around November 2015.