August 19, 2020 Read More →

Largest solar farm in Western Australia reaches full commercial operation

Renew Economy:

The 100MW Merredin solar farm – by far the biggest in the state of Western Australia to date – has reached its full generation capacity in a timeline that would be the envy of solar developers and owners in the eastern states.

The project’s developers, Risen Energy, said on Wednesday that it had worked closely with network service provider Western Power and the Australian Energy Market Operator through the staged live commissioning process, and Merredin was now exporting 100% capacity output, compatible with the grid’s requirements.

The solar farm – near the wheat-belt town of the same name – began construction in the middle of last year and is one of three big wind and solar projects that will join the WA grid in 2020.

The biggest wind farm in the state, the 212MW Yandin facility north of Perth, began exporting to the grid earlier this month and follow[ed] a similarly staged commissioning process. The 180MW Warradarge wind farm, also north of Perth, is also due to start generating to the grid soon. Together, the three new projects will double the large scale renewable energy capacity in the state.

According to Risen, Merredin has been one of the fastest builds of a large-scale solar farm seen in Australia, yet, with the mechanical completion of the project achieved in just three months in collaboration with WA’s Monford Group.

The efficiency of the project’s development and its swift ramping up to 100% generation capacity mark a striking contrast to comparable projects in NEM states, where grid connection problems have been looming large. That said, Western Australia has some catching up to do. While the state has more than 1,300MW of rooftop solar, Merredin marks one of just a handful of large-scale solar farms on the state’s main grid.

[Sophie Vorrath]

More: West Australia’s biggest solar farm sails to full generation capacity

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