Nyngan Solar Plant
AGL is delivering two large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants with a total capacity of 155 MW (AC) at Nyngan (102 MW) and Broken Hill (53 MW) in regional New South Wales. To support AGL’s delivery of the projects, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided $166.7 million and the NSW Government has provided $64.9 million.
On an annual basis, the projects at Nyngan and Broken Hill will produce approximately 360,000 megawatt hours of electricity, which will be sufficient to meet the needs of over 50,000 average NSW homes.
Nyngan Solar Plant Location
The Nyngan Solar Plant site is located on an agricultural property approximately 10 kilometres west of the Nyngan township. The solar plant will occupy approximately 250 hectares of land to the north of the Barrier Highway and approximately 3 km south of the Nyngan – Cobar 132kV line.
Nyngan receives strong and consistent solar radiation, making it an ideal location for a solar power plant. The project site is well located between the regional centre of Dubbo to the east, and a number of mining loads at Cobar to the west, meaning there is significant need for electrical power in the region. The existing Nyngan – Cobar 132kV transmission line is located just south of the site, allowing for relatively efficient connection into the electrical grid. The project site is flat, rural land with a good buffer from Nyngan and nearby residents.
AGL will develop, own, and manage the project. First Solar will provide AGL with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services and will also maintain the plant for five years after commercial operation starts. The electricity produced by the project will be sold under a power purchase agreement to AGL Hydro Partnership, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL.
Construction of the plant started in January 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of June 2015.
How will the Solar Plant work?
First Solar’s advanced cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules will be used to convert sunlight into electricity which will be fed into the electrical grid. This process generates electricity with no air emissions, no waste production and no water use, and has one of the smallest carbon footprints of any current PV technology. Over 7,000 MW of First Solar PV modules have been installed worldwide, including at many of the world’s largest solar PV plants.
The Nyngan Solar Plant will consist of approximately 1,350,000 solar PV modules installed on frames which are supported by around 150,000 steel posts. The modules will be installed at a fixed (non-tracking) tilt, at a 25 degree angle, and will face north. The modules will be wired together in arrays which will be connected to inverters to transform the DC current produced by the modules into AC current that can be fed into the grid network.
The solar plant will be connected to a new substation which will be constructed at the site. A 33/132kV transformer will convert the output from the plant to grid voltage. A short section (approximately three kilometres long) of new 132kV transmission line will be built to connect the substation to the existing Nyngan – Cobar transmission line, located south of the project site.