The NEM’s First Registered Solar Farm gets the green light
17 July 2012
Infigen Energy is pleased to announce that it is proceeding with the construction of the Capital East Solar Farm, an integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage demonstration facility. This will be Infigen’s first operational solar PV facility and an integral part of the Capital Renewable Energy Precinct near Bungendore, New South Wales.
Infigen received Planning Approval from Palerang Council in early July 2012 for the development of a solar PV and energy storage facility of up to 1MW capacity. The first stage of the development will comprise a 200kW solar PV array and complementary energy storage system.
The solar PV array and storage demonstration facility will be the first of its kind in Australia and the first solar farm to be registered in the National Electricity Market (NEM). Infigen will use the facility to trial construction techniques, storage technology, and the combined operation and dispatch of the solar PV array and energy storage to maximise economic return.
The lessons learnt from this demonstration plant will be applied to the design of future utility scale PV plants and the integration of future large scale energy storage into the NEM.
David Griffin, General Manager of Development at Infigen said, “Whilst the first stage operating solar PV facility will supply enough renewable energy to power approximately 40 average homes, it is primarily being developed as a demonstration facility to support Infigen’s entry into large scale solar PV generation and implementation of energy storage technologies.”
“Infigen recognises that energy storage will be a key enabling technology in the future of renewable energy in Australia. Distributed renewable energy facilities that are also capable of providing network support are expected to become increasingly competitive with traditional supply solutions requiring continuing large investments in outdated network infrastructure” he said.
Mr Griffin said, “We feel there is a reasonable prospect that energy storage costs will follow the price path of solar modules. If that happens we are going to be talking about a very different NEM.”
The energy storage system will be installed alongside the solar PV array and will be able to store over an hour of the solar PV array’s generation.
The Capital East Solar Farm project also plays a role in Infigen’s broader vision and objectives for the Capital Renewable Energy Precinct. Together with this project, the precinct consists of the existing operating Capital and Woodlawn wind farms with a combined capacity of 189 MW, the proposed Capital 2 Wind Farm, and the proposed Capital Solar Farm, both of which have received development approval.
Richard Farrell, Investor Relations Manager
Tel +61 2 8031 9900