SA’s Peterborough Solar Farm Completed

Solar farms in Australia

Image: NEXTracker

What will be South Australia’s largest operating solar farm (for a short time) has been completed and is to be officially opened in a few weeks.

Developed by Renew Power Group, Peterborough Solar Farm is a 4.9MW facility located at Lot 1 Beniah Rd, Peterborough in the state’s Mid-North; close to edge of town and to the 33/11 kV Peterborough sub-station.

The clean power station consists of 15,625 Trina Solar panels mounted on NEXTracker single-axis tracking systems and SMA inverters. According to The Flinders News, the facility will generate approximately 11 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

An electricity generation licence for the project was sought from the Essential Services Commission Of South Australia (ESCOSA) on 9 November 2017, and granted on the 14th of February, 2018.

The facility will certainly give Peterborough’s postcode, 5422, a significant lift in solar capacity. Information from the Clean Energy Regulator indicates there were approximately 316 small-scale (<100kW) solar installations in the area as at March 31, with a collective capacity of 1.142MW. According to 2016 Census QuickStats, the population of postcode 5422 is 1,686.

Not resting on its laurels,  Renew Power Group is also working on developing Pirie Solar Farm, to be situated south of Port Pirie in South Australia. It’s apparently been approved by Pirie Council, and will be a similar size to the Peterborough project – approximately 5MW. Renew Power Group hopes to have that up and running this year.

Other Large-Scale Solar Projects For South Australia

The Peterborough/Pirie projects won’t wear the “largest in SA” crown for too long. Among other projects in the pipeline or under construction is the massive Bungala Solar Project near Port Augusta that will consist of around 860,000 solar panels.

Enel Green Power began construction of the 137.7 MW Bungala Solar One plant in October last year. A second stage will see the facility reaching more than 275MW DC capacity (220 MWac).

Bungala Solar facility (both stages) will generate approximately 570 GWh of electricity per year, enough to power the equivalent of 82,000 households. It’s expected to be fully operational early in 2019.

While not PV-based, another large solar project for SA is SolarReserve’s Aurora solar thermal power station, to be built near Port Augusta. The 150MW plant will incorporate a 1,100MWh “molten salt” energy storage system, able to provide dispatchable power after dark. Construction of the facility was to begin this year, with completion estimated to be in 2020. However, SolarReserve has been very quiet regarding the project over the last couple of months.

Other large-scale solar projects for the state include Tilt Renewables 45MW solar facility featuring up to 25MW of battery storage near Snowtown and a 70MW solar farm  to be situated alongside Snowtown Wind Farm.

Dwarfing all these is the DP Energy’s Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, the PV aspect of which will incorporate up to 1,600,000 solar panels. There’s been little news on the project in recent times.

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.

Comments

  1. Thats good news!

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