With enough large-scale projects under construction or already built to meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) keeps tracking the progress across the market as the development pipeline swells beyond 11 GW.
In its December LRET market highlights, the CER said 2018 was a record year with a cumulative capacity of 3,376 MW – the bulk of which came from solar PV.
According to data collected by Green Energy Trading, Australia added more than 2 GW of large-scale PV, as the market segment grew more than tenfold, up from meager 119 MW in 2017. Overall, amid the utility-scale boom accompanied by traditionally strong rooftop solar PV uptake, Australia’s solar PV capacity additions tripled in last year .
Due to a higher proportion of solar projects in the pipeline than expected, the CER had previously upped its original target from 6,000 MW to 6,400 MW for the RET of 33,000 GWh to be reached by 2020.
The cumulative capacity in the development pipeline has, however, far exceeded this target. While it was secured already in May last year, with 6,553 MW of capacity from new renewable energy projects in the works or already built, by the end of December the renewable energy fleet in the development pipeline reached 11,092 MW.
Other CER figures confirm that December saw a flurry of renewable energy activity. A total of 35 power stations were accredited with a combined capacity of 198 MW, including the 110 MW Wemen Solar Farm in Victoria, one of the projects of collapsed EPC contractor RCR Tomlinson.
Three utility scale projects with a combined capacity of 146 MW reached financial close, while the 333 MW DC Darlington Point Solar Farm in New South Wales signed a power purchase agreement with Delta Electricity, Vales Point coal-fired power station owner, for 150 MW AC or approximately 55% of its output.