The 87 MW Beryl Solar Farm, seven kilometres west of Gulgong in New South Wales, is the latest utility-scale PV project to join the grid. Around 69% of the project’s output will be used to meet the operational electricity needs of the Sydney Metro Northwest railway, while the remaining generation could open up possibilities for alternative PPAs or utilization via battery storage.
“Beryl has reached commercial operations on time and on budget, even accounting for the increase in capacity,” said New Energy Solar CEO John Martin “The offtake is contributing directly to the newly opened Sydney Metro Northwest rail link and we are very pleased to be a part of this major piece of transport infrastructure.”
The Beryl Solar Farm was acquired by ASX-listed solar farm investor New Energy Solar from First Solar last year. Downer Group acted as EPC on the project and began construction last May.
While originally announced the project will use First Solar’s large-format Series 6 modules, a change in module supplier was announced in February. New Energy Solar said it had made a switch to Longi modules, which were installed together with Ingeteam inverters and Exosun tracking technology.
“The use of LONGi modules has allowed for a redesign that will increase the number of modules and thereby increase project installed capacity by 2.5 MWdc from 108.4 MWDcto 11 0.9 MWdc, with a resulting increase in expected annual generation and annual cash yields,” the investor said at the time.
The Beryl Solar Farm is one of the two PV projects in New Energy Solar’s Australian portfolio. The 55.9 MW Manildra project in New South Wales is another project acquired from First Solar. It has been operating since April last year and sells power and Large Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) to EnergyAustralia under a 10-year PPA with an option to extend out to 2030.