Australian solar power systems integrator Sun Brilliance is developing a 25 MW solar power plant on the outskirts of Perth.
When completed, the $42 million solar farm on 60 hectares of land will be the largest solar power plant in Western Australia, more than double the 10 MW Greenough River Solar Farm completed in 2012 by First Solar for Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services.
The Perth-based company has a memorandum of understanding with a local power retailer supplying power to commercial customers in the city. The MOU will be converted to a 25-year power purchase agreement on the finalization of all regulatory approvals, including connecting to the Western Power grid, the South West Interconnected System.
The Australian governments Renewable Energy Target aims to generate 33 gigawatt-hours of power per year from renewable energy up to 2030. To meet these targets, Australia needs to develop 6 GW of renewable energy plants, according to Sun Brilliance. The company is awaiting site selection and regulatory approvals for its planned solar farm to be completed. Sun Brilliance expects to commence construction in the second half of 2016 and the plant to be operational by early 2017.
The solar farm will generate 45 million kilowatt hours annually, enough to create 45,000 Large Generation Certificates (LGCs) or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
While fossil fuel energy markets are in retreat around the world, global renewable energy investment reached $329 billion in 2015, and investment in solar and wind will continue to grow through 2016, said Sun Brilliance Director Ray Wills.
This project in Western Australia will be a major milestone for Sun Brilliance Group as we look to develop a range of large-scale solar and wind power projects in Australia, India and other parts of the Asia Pacific Region, he added.
Wills pointed out that rooftop solar has dominated the Western Australian market in the past five years while the rest of the world has largely focused on utility-scale solar farms. While Sun Brilliance will also look to install large rooftop systems for business and industry in Perth, solar farms will be important to deliver competitively priced electricity to customers who want power from renewable sources, but might not otherwise be able to access solar via their rooftop.