The last of 677,760Â thin-film photovoltaic (PV) panels were finally installed at the Broken Hill solar plant and is now officially complete.
ARENA, AGL and First Solar joined NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts and NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, Mark Speakman at a ceremony.
Itâ€™s the largest solar power station in the southern hemisphere and will provide electricity to the entire city when combined with its larger sister plant at Nyngan.
Energy minister Anthony Roberts said the state government would lobby the new Turnbull ministry for renewable energy funding in regional areas.
“Certainly we look forward to working together with the new ministers in Canberra to ensure that NSW, particularly rural and regional NSW, get a fair share of the money that’s on the table,” Mr Roberts said.
The solar plant cost $150 million to construct, but has only been designed to last 30 years.
Doug Jackson from AGL said after the plant’s useful life, the landscape it’s built on would likely be returned to its natural state.
“That’s a pretty typical life, 25 to 40 years in the energy industry at this point,” Mr Jackson said.
“But it’s a new technology, I think it’ll evolve and the future will potentially turn out new products that will potentially have very different life spans and hopefully longer.”
State environment minister Mark Speakman said the construction represents a turning point.
“Technology’s changing rapidly, and I think we’ll see more and more in the next five years or so of these projects (standing) on their own too feet, without government needing to kickstart them.”
Despite its size, the solar farm will only require a skeleton crew on a day-to-day basis.
“We’ll have a full time need for two to three people to look after this project,” AGL’s Doug Jackson said.
“Just day to day maintenance and operating checks, to keep it safe.”
The plant is due to generate enough electricity to power roughly 17,000 homes.
Originally fromÂ ABC Online