Nextracker to supply 255 MW Sunraysia Solar Farm


After passing the 2 GW cumulative project milestone in Australia earlier this year, U.S.-based manufacturer Nextracker will now supply the 255 MW Sunraysia Solar Farm, one of the biggest solar projects currently under development in the country.

The company will provide its NX Horizon solar trackers to the project. Nextracker says the NX Horizon are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions due to its with its completely sealed mechanical and electrical components operating at one meter above the ground.

NX Horizon can also be augmented with the company’s TrueCapture control software to enhance energy yield, and paired with digital O&M services for real-time analytics, performance monitoring, and predictive maintenance, the company said in a statement.

“Nextracker is honored to be selected by Decmil to supply 255 megawatts of our smart solar tracker, and to one of the first projects in Australia structured with a long-term offtaker as the end-user,” said Dan Shugar, Nextracker CEO. “We also applaud AGL Energy’s transition to provide more renewable energy options to its customers for cleaner and more affordable energy.”

Decmil Group, which is handling the EPC and O&M duties on the project on the back of a $277 million contract – the local contractor’s biggest EPC project to date, has chosen Nextracker for the second time.

The two companies were working together on the 13 MW Mugga Lane Solar Park developed and built under the Australian Capital Territory Government’s Reverse Solar Auction and commissioned by Maoneng in November 2016.

“Decmil is looking forward to partnering with Nextracker on the Sunraysia Solar Farm project. They offer significant experience in delivering smart technology for the renewables sector,” Decmil Managing Director and Group CEO, Scott Criddle, said.

Last month, JinkoSolar was chosen to supply the project with 255 MWp modules. It will ship its new Cheetah series to the project, which combine mono-PERC technology, in a half-cut cell configuration. The Cheetah modules can achieve a power output above 400W, in a 72-cell configuration. 

The Sunraysia Solar Farm owned and operated by Australian-Chinese group Maoneng and UK-based infrastructure investor John Laing, which invested $108.6 million in the project last month, taking a 90.1% stake.

The Sunraysia Solar Farm is supported by power purchase agreements with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and AGL Energy, both of which with a 15-year term.

The solar supply agreement with UNSW is the first of its kind in Australia – bringing together a retailer (Origin Energy), developer (Maoneng) and corporate (UNSW) with an eye on covering 100% of the University’s electricity demand with solar.

The tripartite agreement will see UNSW purchase up to 124,000 MWh of renewable energy per annum from the Sunraysia Solar Farm, meeting UNSW’s annual energy requirements starting in 2019, while Origin will ensure electricity supply to the University if the solar output falls short.

AGL’s offtake with Sunraysia Solar Farm forms part of AGL’s NSW Generation Plan, which includes decommissioning of its aging Liddell coal-fired generator, and plays an important role in AGL’s transition towards cleaner and more affordable energy.

When announcing the module supply deal, Jinko noted that Maoneng has plans to add large scale battery storage to the site at a later date.

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