The Greenough River Solar Farm was an exciting project for Synergy and GE Energy Financial Services, for the state and for the country. It went ahead with contributions and support from the Office of Energy, Royalties for Regions through the Department of Regional Development and Lands and the Mid West Regional Development Commission.
The clean, affordable and sustainable energy generated by the solar farm is being purchased by the WA Water Corporation to help offset the energy requirements of the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, near Binningup.
Producing electricity when it is needed most, during the day, the solar photovoltaic (PV) farm will displace 20,000 tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 3,000 cars off the road.
First Solar provided the PV technology, using approximately 150,000 thin film PV modules to construct the solar farm. First Solar also provided engineering, procurement and construction services and now that the facility is running, operations and maintenance support.
Not only does the project expand WA’s renewable energy output, it assists the transition away from the current high reliance on wind farms to provide renewable energy within the State.
Solar photovoltaic is one of the fastest-growing, proven renewable energy technology and the costs are falling. It provides WA with the opportunity to lead the country in solar energy generation.
Greenough River Solar Farm is the first stage of a 40MW solar farm that the joint venture hopes to install at this site.
Before construction started, a comprehensive feasibility study was completed to assess the social and environmental impacts on the surrounding area. Planning Approval for the project was obtained from the City of Geraldton-Greenough and the Shire of Mullewa in mid 2011.