First of 12 large-scale solar farms completed in WA

Monday, 05 March, 2018

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced Emu Downs is the first of its 12 large-scale solar farms funded under its $92 million round to be completed.

Under the round, ARENA provided $92 million in funding to 12 large-scale solar farms which are currently under construction or nearing completion in Queensland, NSW and WA. Once built, these dozen solar farms will have a total capacity of 492.5 MW.

ARENA provided APA Group with $5.5 million to build the 20 MW solar farm on the site of its wind farm, 200 km north of Perth.

The $50 million project has around 75,000 solar panels, using the existing transmission connection infrastructure from the adjacent wind farm.

“APA’s Emu Downs Solar Farm marks the beginning of a quick succession of our large-scale solar farms reaching completion this year, injecting $1.1 billion into solar PV,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht.

“Beyond just funding a dozen new solar farms, this round acted as a catalyst to kickstart the large-scale solar industry in Australia, dramatically reducing the price of solar energy.

Six years ago, there was just 10 MW of solar in Australia, whereas this year there will be over 1800 MW, with over 10 GW in the pipeline, which is a huge step forward in a short space of time, he said.

APA has entered into a power purchase agreement to sell electricity and renewable certificates generated by the solar farm to energy provider Synergy, to 2030.

Along with Emu Downs and the Badgingarra Wind Farm under construction across the road, APA is building a 230 MW renewables precinct with the potential to power 176,000 Western Australian homes with both wind and solar.

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