Australia’s first large-scale solar and wind farm will be built near Canberra, saving funds and creating a more reliable and more affordable renewable energy model as written on SMH.
The 10 megawatt solar PV plant near the existing Gullen Range Wind Farm, 28 km north-west of Goulburn will likely be followed more solar-wind generators as stated by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The agency is providing $9.9 million for the $26 million renewable project.
Ivor Frischknect, ARENA’s chief executive said under the co-location model, developers could save money on grid connection, approvals and site developments cost that includes track access by co-locating solar and wind plants, while reducing the environmental impacts. Advocates expect savings of about $6 million. Mr Frischknect said the wind and solar were complementary sources of renewable energy that produced power at different times of the day and of the year.
ARENA stated that a study found there was an estimated 1000 megawatts of possible opportunities to add solar PV alongside existing wind farms which is enough to power 700,000 homes. The Gullen solar farm is expected to produce 22,000 megawatt hours of electricity in its first year. This is enough to supply about 3100 average New South Wales households.
The solar farm will be built on a gently sloping ground with a north aspect. Goldwind Australia had been using irradiance measurement on site since July, 2014. The solar array layout has been positioned to be sufficiently away from the turbines to avoid any turbine shading.
The project is expected to produce about 70 jobs at the peak of construction and may be finished by July, 2017.
Image credit: Gullen Range Wind Farm