Chinese wind firm Goldwind to build 20 MW solar plant in Australia

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The White Rock PV array — which will be situated on the northern end of the Urumqi-based company’s 175 MW White Rock wind farm, 18km west of the town of Glen Innes, near the Queensland border — was approved for development in mid-June by the planning and environment department of the state of New South Wales.

It has not revealed the PV module supplier for the project. Goldwind began preliminary work on the site, roughly 500km north of Sydney, in May. The solar array will likely generate about 46 GWh of electricity in its first year of operation, or roughly enough to cater to the needs of approximately 7,200 homes in New South Wales.

If the company manages to secure an undisclosed sum under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) competitive grant scheme for large-scale PV projects, it expects to complete the solar portion of the White Rock site in late 2017.

The array will share the infrastructure of the wind farm, including TransGrid’s 132kV transmission line in the area, as well as access tracks and a portion of the internal electrical cabling.

The company claims the use of the wind farm’s infrastructure could ultimately contribute to total savings of $AUD5m (($3.77m). The adjacent White Rock wind farm will be the biggest wind farm in New South Wales when it is completed in late 2017.

John Titchen, managing director of Goldwind Australia, said in an emailed statement that the group sees enormous potential to develop solar and wind projects in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales.

Goldwind — the world’s leading wind turbine supplier in 2015, according to Navigant Research — has been gradually diversifying into solar project development in recent years.

In February of this year, it finished building a micro-grid project in northwestern China’s Ningxia Hui region that pairs a 2MW wind turbine with a 375kW solar array with a vanadium flow storage system.

The pilot site includes PV modules mounted on a dual-axis tracking system, specifically designed by wholly owned group unit Etechwin for use in industrial parks and applications in isolated locations.

And in June, Goldwind obtained local approval to start developing an 11MW solar project in the New South Wales town of Crookwell, roughly 120km north of Canberra.?