Beryl Solar Plant Now Supplying Electricity For Sydney Metro

Beryl Solar Plant

Beryl Solar Plant in NSW is complete and has commenced commercial operations, delivering electricity for Sydney Metro.

The 110.9 MW PV power plant is situated approximately seven kilometres west of Gulgong in New South Wales’ Central Tablelands.

The majority of electricity generated by the facility will be used to offset all the operational electricity requirements of the newly opened Sydney Metro Northwest railway  – around 134,000 megawatt-hours a year.

“Beryl has reached commercial operations on time and on budget, even accounting for the increase in capacity,” said New Energy Solar CEO John Martin “The offtake is contributing directly to the newly opened Sydney Metro Northwest rail link and we are very pleased to be a part of this major piece of transport infrastructure.”

New Energy Solar says the Sydney Metro arrangement will  account for approximately 69% of the facility’s generation during the 15-year term. While it’s a pretty big deal, the signing of the power purchase agreement (PPA) last year didn’t generate a lot of fanfare from Sydney Metro – just this statement.

The Longi Solar Switcheroo

The Beryl project was originally owned by First Solar. Downer was awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract in May last year. That announcement noted First Solar’s Series 6 thin film photovoltaic modules would be used for the facility.

Last year, New Energy Solar announced an agreement that would see it acquire the project from First Solar1 In February this year a decision was made to switch from the originally intended modules to Longi Solar panels. Use of Longi panels allowed for a redesign to boost project capacity by 2.5 MW.

New Energy Solar’s other operating PV project in Australia is Manildra Solar Power Plant, which is situated approximately 45 kilometres west of Orange in Central West NSW. The 55.9MW plant has been operating since April last year is another project acquired from First Solar. The company also has a number of PV projects in the USA.

Sydney Metro’s On-Site PV

As well as the Beryl PPA deal, Sydney Metro has on-site solar energy generation. In November last year, it unveiled a huge rooftop solar power system installed on the roof of the maintenance building at its headquarters at Rouse Hill.

Sydney Metro solar panels

Consisting of 3,287 solar panels, the 1.1MW array was (and remains as far as I know) the biggest on any NSW Government building, and is expected to generate 1.5 million kilowatt hours (1.5 gigawatt-hours) of electricity a year.

Footnotes

  1. First Solar will continue to have a role in the facility through the provisions of operations and maintenance services.
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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