The official inauguration of the first phase of what will be Australia's largest photovoltaic complex was held on Thursday, March 16. New England Solar Farm, located in New South Wales, is being developed in two phases by ACEN Renewables.
The inauguration ceremony was presided over by the Australian Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Bowen, and was attended by several members of the Australian media, as well as members of the ACEN Renewables Australia team, the construction company Green Light Contractors and several members of Ingeteam Australia, as the company responsible for the supply of 472 MVA through its power stations and the PPC (power plant controller) plant control system.
Currently around 300 MW of solar capacity and the 33/330 kV substation have been connected, but this first phase is expected to reach 400 MW of nominal capacity in the coming months. Once both phases are completed, this solar complex will be the largest in the country with 720 MW and a 400 MWh energy storage system, which translates to a total capacity to produce 1,800,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of clean, renewable energy each year, enough to power more than 250,000 typical New South Wales homes.
In addition, the layout of the rows of photovoltaic panels, installed on a single-axis tracking system, allows enough space for sheep to graze inside the plant.
Juan Miguel Gutiérrez, director of Ingeteam Australia, has pointed out that "the inauguration of this plant marks an important milestone in the implementation of Ingeteam in Australia as a technology partner, as well as being a giant step forward in the country's energy transition".