Australia’s biggest solar plant to be built in NSW

Australia’s largest solar and battery power plant is scheduled to be built in NSW early next year, with Maoneng Australia and Decmil signing a MoU to construct the 250MW AC solar photovoltaic power plant.

Sunraysia Solar Farm is anticipated to generate approximately 530,000MWh of electricity per year, with the energy transmitted via Transgrid transmission lines throughout NSW and Victoria.

The solar farm will be built near Balranald in western NSW – one of the sunniest parts of the state, where the region currently thrives on dry land and irrigated agricultural production of grains, wool, lamb and beef.

Sunraysia Solar Farm will be more than double the size of the current largest solar plant – a 102MW generation facility at Nyngan, NSW – and will be the largest operating solar project in the southern hemisphere once operational.

The construction contract is valued at about $275 million.

“This development will play a large part in offsetting some of the recent closures of thermal generators within the region as well as bringing opportunities for those looking to transition from fossil fuels into the renewable energy sector,” Maoneng vice president Qiao Nan Han said.

“Once completed, the solar farm, together with other solar farms, will be monitored and remotely operated out of Sydney. We intend to retain the relevant local staff to assist with the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the asset, once construction is completed.”

The project could also be one of the first solar farms in NSW to utilise batteries for storage of excess power, increasing energy security for the national electricity market.

Sunraysia is Maoneng’s second major Australian solar investment, following the completion of the 13MW Mugga Lane solar park in Tuggeranong, ACT.