Australia posts near-record period for utility PV generation

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Australia has posted its second-best month for utility PV generation with Rystad Energy senior renewables analyst David Dixon noting large-scale solar assets had generated 1,463 GWh of clean energy during January, just short of the record of 1,509 GWh of generation delivered in December 2022.

Indonesian PV developer SUN Energy’s 100 MW Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia’s (WA) central Wheatbelt region was again the nation’s top rating solar farm for the month with an average capacity factor (AC CF) of 42.2%.

Merredin, which SUN Energy acquired from project developer Risen Energy in 2021, is a regular in Rystad’s top large-scale solar stakes.

Canadian clean energy investment firm Amp Energy’s 85 MW Hillston Solar Farm in southwest New South Wales (NSW) was second in the January rankings with a 38.8% capacity factor ahead of Bright Energy Investments’ 40 MW Greenough River Solar Farm in WA’s midwest (37.4% AC CF).

Spanish developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) 56 MW Moree solar farm in regional NSW was fourth ahead of Australian renewables developer Edify Energy and Germany-based Wirsol’s 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm in northwest Victoria.

NSW had five of the best performing solar farms in the month, including the Corowa, Nevertire and Colleambally facilities and generated 632 GWh from utility PV during January.

Dixon said new utility PV generation records were set in South Australia, where large-scale assets generated 95 GWh of solar, and Victoria (194 GWh).

All Australian utility PV and wind assets generated 3,885 GWh of clean energy over the month, up 7% on the 3,628 GWh generated in January 2022.

The best performing utility wind assets for the month were all located in WA with the top assets including the Yandin, Badgingarra, Walkaway and Mumbida wind farms.

Fifth on the list was the wind component of the Port August Renewable Energy Park in South Australia. The project, owned by Spanish energy group Iberdrola, is currently the largest operational hybrid wind and solar project in Australia.

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