July 28, 2020 Read More →

Merredin solar farm, largest in Western Australia, begins sending power to the grid

Renew Economy:

The 100MW Merredin solar farm – by far the biggest in the state of Western Australia to date – has started sending power to the grid in the first phase of its commissioning process.

The solar farm – near the wheat-belt town of the same name – is owned by Risen Energy and began sending output to the local grid a few days ago. Under a four stage commissioning process it will initially be able to export up to 20 per cent of its capacity, then up to 50 per cent in its second stage, and 80 per cent in the third stage before reaching full output in stage four.

The Merredin solar farm 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 followed a similarly staged commissioning process. The 180MW Warradarge wind farm, also north of Perth, is also due to start generating to the grid soon.

Remarkably, for a state with such excellent solar resources, and more than 1,300MW of rooftop solar, Merredin will be one of just a handful of large scale solar farms on the state’s main grid. It will join the country first grid-scale solar farm, Greenough River (now being upgraded from 10MW to 40MW), and the smaller Emu Downs and Badgingarra solar farms that are co-located with wind installations. There is also a 9.6MW solar farm at Northam.

Large scale solar farms also being installed in the Pilbara, where big iron ore mines are turning to solar and storage to reduce the high cost of gas generation and to improve reliability. At least two solar plants – one of 60MW, and two more totaling 150MW, are planned by Fortescue Metals and Alinta Energy.

[Giles Parkinson]

More: West Australia’s first 100MW solar farm starts sending power to the grid

Comments are closed.