Glenrowan Solar Farm reaches full capacity in quick time

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The 102 Glenrowan Solar Farm is now fully commissioned having passed the hold point testing just three months after first production in December 2023 and less than one year after construction proper commenced.

Testing and commissioning of the 245-hectare solar farm, the first project to be delivered under Victoria’s second renewable energy target auction (VRET2), began in November 2023 after it achieved first energisation on 21 November. Construction of the power plant commenced in March 2023.

James Brennan, Renewable Energy Connections Manager for UGL which constructed the solar farm for fellow Cimic Group subsidiary Pacific Partnerships, said a revised connection and commissioning process had paved the way for the quick delivery.

“Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Vic and National Connections team worked with our project team to develop a streamlined connection and commissioning process to focus on priority tests and accelerate progress through the hold point testing process,” he said via social media.

“The results speak for themselves, as we were able to progress through the entire hold point testing process from 0 MW to 102 MW in just a handful of working weeks.”

The Glenrowan Solar Farm, located about 250 kilometres north of Melbourne in Victoria’s planned North East Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), comprises approximately 226,000 solar panels installed on 2,200 trackers.

The facility is connected to the grid via AusNet’s nearby Glenrowan Terminal Substation and is expected to generate enough independent electricity to power about 45,000 Australian homes.

The solar farm is the first of six solar farm projects to be delivered under the VRET2 and is backed by a 10-year power purchase agreement with the state government.

The state government has said the project will help meet Victoria’s legislated renewable energy targets of 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 and will also help satisfy the state’s new renewable energy storage target of at least 2.6 GW of energy storage capacity by 2030 and 6.3 GW of storage by 2035.

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