The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

AGL, First Solar to Build Australia’s Largest Solar Project

AGL, First Solar to Build Australia’s Largest Solar Project

AGL Energy Ltd., Australia’s largest developer of renewable energy projects, said it will go ahead with a A$450 million ($408 million) solar project in New South Wales state with First Solar Inc.

AGL will build the 155-megawatt project at two sites in Broken Hill and Nyngan with A$166.7 million in federal and A$64.9 million in state funds, the Sydney-based company said today in a statement. AGL doesn’t need to sell shares or take on debt to pay for the plants, Managing Director Michael Fraser said today in Sydney at a news conference.

AGL is building the nation’s largest solar power development, covering a combined area four times the size of downtown Sydney, as Australia moves toward a goal of getting at least 20 percent of its power from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade. The Nyngan plant is also expected to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, AGL said.

“This has been the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle for clean energy in Australia,” Climate Change Minister Mark Butler said today at a news conference in Sydney. “Getting a large- scale, or utility-scale, solar project up in Australia has been an ambition for many years.”

Australia is forecast to install about 5,000 megawatts of large solar photovoltaic plants through 2020, driven by the country’s renewable energy target, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report on June 28. That compares with 17 megawatts of large-scale capacity today, BNEF said.

Silverton Delayed

While the government last year awarded the funds to AGL and First Solar, it scrapped a plan to provide A$464 million to an Areva SA venture after the Queensland government pulled funding for the 250-megawatt project.

Construction of the 102-megawatt Nyngan project in central New South Wales is scheduled to start in January, with completion expected by mid-2015, according to AGL, which also operates the A$1 billion Macarthur wind farm in Australia. The Broken Hill plant in the western part of the state is expected to start in July 2014 and be completed in about November 2015.

First Solar, the largest U.S. solar-panel manufacturer by shipments, will provide engineering and construction services for both plants, using its modules, according to the statement.

AGL, which won Australian government funds for the New South Wales solar project last year, has invested more than A$3 billion in renewable energy in the past seven years, making it the largest developer of projects in the country during that period, the company said earlier this month.

AGL delayed a A$550 million wind farm in Australia because of uncertainty over government policy. AGL will defer hiring an engineering and construction contractor for the proposed Silverton wind farm in Australia’s New South Wales state and review its position in 2014, it said July 11.

The company will wait for the outcome of a review of the 2020 clean energy target “before we make any further commitments,” Fraser said today. “I’d like to think we’re not done” developing more renewable energy projects, he said.

Read more solar energy news here.

Lead image: Instinia via Shutterstock


How to Win Planning Permission for Renewable Energy Projects (and Influence People)

Tildy Bayar, Contributor At Tuesday afternoon’s POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conference session in Amsterdam, Paul Davison of PR firm Proteus discussed how to best communicate with the public regarding renewable ene...
Egypt flag

Egypt's Renewable Energy Drive Gains Steam

Andrew Burger, Correspondent There's a lot of action in Egypt's rapidly developing solar and renewable energy market space. Nearly 5 GW worth of solar power development agreements have been signed so far this year, while Egypt 's New and Renewable Ene...

Elon Musk Says Utilities Shouldn’t Fear His Battery Systems

Mark Chediak and Dana Hull, Bloomberg

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc., told electric utility owners they shouldn’t fear that his battery systems will put them out of business -- instead, they should buy them.


India's Seabiscuit: How Solar Energy Can Be the Symbol of Hope for Electricity Woes

Aditya Goel, Ornate Solar For those unfamiliar with the story of the horse that Hollywood made famous, Seabiscuit was a small horse who had an inauspicious start to his racing career. History though, remembers Seabiscuit not for his diminutive...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



2015 Solar Power International

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the 2015 SPI show!

2015 Intersolar-North America

Intersolar is North America's premier solar show, and it is taking place...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...


DIY: Don’t Install Yourself

You finally made the choice to go solar. Seems like it might be pretty e...

Capturing Your Prospects' Attention In Three Sentences

You have about 15 seconds to capture your prospects’ attention, wh...

Complexity Avalanche

One of the challenges we face in the efficiency industry is how to conve...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now