SMA to supply Australia’s biggest solar farm


From pv magazine Australia

German inverter supplier SMA continues has announced a new deal to supply Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub in Queensland, Australia.

Generating 400 MW (AC) through almost 90 SMA skids, Western Downs will be the largest solar project in the country, and one of the biggest PV installations that the company has worked on anywhere in the world.

It will be powered by the SMA MVPS 6000-S-AU, operating at 1500 V (DC). The inverters will be manufactured by SMA in Kassel, Germany, and assembled in Wodonga, in the Australian state of Victoria, with transformer manufacturer Wilson Transformer Co. (WTC).

“This project is a landmark for SMA, it represents our focus on supporting developers like Neoen who are committed to focusing on owning and operating high-quality solar assets,” Joshua Birmingham, project sales director for SMA Australia.

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The SMA MVPS 6000-S-AU brings together two Sunny Central 3000-EV inverters, transformers, and medium- and low-voltage switchgears, onto a galvanized base – rather than being fully containerized. Delivered pre-configured on a 40-foot skid, the SMA MVPS electronics is a central inverter solution developed with WTC specifically for Australian utility-scale projects. The two companies teamed in 2018 to develop the Power Skid, an Australia-dedicated turnkey solution available in different architectures, with WTC providing the medium- and low-voltage switchgears – among other components.

Project partners

Plans to build Australia’s largest solar farm were confirmed only weeks ago, after French renewables developer Neoen signed a contract to sell most of the project's output to the Queensland government-owned renewable energy generator, CleanCo. The power purchase agreement will contribute over 30% of the energy required for CleanCo to meet its target of 1 GW of new renewable generation by 2025.

The project, located 22 km south of Chinchilla in southwestern Queensland, will generate energy to power 235,000 Queensland homes, or enough to power every home on the Sunshine Coast. The AU$570 million (US$375 million) investment by Neoen is expected to create up to 400 jobs when construction begins in July. Electricity generation is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2022.

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