Yarranlea Solar Farm connects to the grid

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Chinese PV module maker Risen Energy’s 100 MW Yarranlea Solar Farm in Pittsworth, Queensland, is now connected to the grid and undergoing the final staged commissioning procedures after achieving network registration with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in early January.

The staging procedures help ensure network stability as large-scale solar is relatively new to the Darling Downs region. “The staged procedures we are performing allow us to currently generate 28 megawatts to the grid,” said Eric Lee, General Manager Risen Energy (Australia).

In a month’s time this output will rise to 50%, and a further month after that output will reach 100%. “The commissioning regime ensures that there is minimal potential for disruptions for stable power supplies to the community,” assured Lee.

In anticipation of Yarranlea Solar Farm’s imminent connection SunWiz included the project in its list of operational solar power stations in its 2019 Year in Review.

Image: SunWiz

Risen partnered with Ergon Energy and Powerlink to connect to the grid. Exisiting Ergon infrastructure near the site proved a great help, especially as Queensland has been one of the state’s most effected by transmission and connectivity issues for large-scale solar.

APA Group’s nearby 110 MW Darling Downs Solar Farm and the 65 MW Rugby Run Solar Farm were two high-profile members of the long queue to Queensland’s grid last year. Both projects were eventually able to connect, although Rugby Run had to wait seven months for its opening.

No such long wait for Yarranlea however as the project’s 360,000 mounted single axis tracking solar panels will be building their output to the grid in gradations over the next couple months, delivering renewable solar energy to the Darling Downs region.

“We are very pleased that we have achieved this milestone by working closely with network providers and anticipate having a fully operational solar facility in a few months,” said Lee.

The Yarranlea Solar Farm has been completely funded in-house by Risen Energy, quite a feat considering the prevalent trend toward Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) among large-scale projects. Although Risen’s demonstration of power in the Australian large-scale solar PV market is not limited to the Yarranlea project, indeed only last week Risen announced its 132 MW Merredin Solar Farm in the Western Australian Wheatbelt is nearing completion. The Chinese PV module manufacturer is picking up speed as it looks to achieve its ambitious goal of 2 GW of renewable investment in Australia.