Small Utility Scale Solar Surges In South Australia

Small utility scale solar energy

MPower’s Mannum Solar Farm projected is now completed and Terregra Renewables has been given the green light for several solar projects in the Murray Bridge region.

MPower announced on Tuesday it had completed construction and commissioning of the 6.8MW (DC) Mannum Solar Farm Project, which is comprised of approximately 17,000 solar panels mounted on single axis trackers.  The project  is owned by a subsidiary of Canadian Solar.

MPower says it is specifically targeting smaller solar farms in part due to their relative ease in connection to the grid.

Mannum is the third solar farm of this size to be completed by the company and another two are on the way in South Australia. MPower didn’t mention locations in its related announcement last month, but these projects for being developed for Astronergy Solar Australia Pty Ltd. After digging around a bit, it appears the facilities may be located near Kadina on the Yorke Peninsula and Bungama in the state’s Mid-North.

“MPower has developed an enviable capability in the successful delivery of 5MW solar farms and continues to strengthen its order book in the growing renewable energy sector,” stated MPower Chief Executive Officer Nathan Wise.

Terregra’s Triple Header

Across to Murray Bridge now and the Rural City of Murray Bridge’s assessment panel last week approved, with conditions, three Terregra Renewables projects.

The first is a 4.95MW project at 955 Mannum Road, Mypolonga, where a total of approximately 15,000 solar panels will cover an area of approximately 14 hectares. The second is a similar size project for 2416 Mannum Road, Murray Bridge North that will also incorporate battery storage (capacity not specified). The other project for 955 Mannum Road, Mypolonga is again a similar capacity in terms of PV and will also feature battery storage.

According to the Murray Valley Standard, the proposed projects were met with little in the way of community objections.

Smaller Solar Energy Projects Getting Around “Grid Chaos”

RenewEconomy’s Sophie Vorrath recently reported an increasing number of developers across the country are pursuing smaller utility scale solar energy projects in order to avoid issues relating to Australia’s current “ grid connection and congestion crisis“.

The Clean Energy Council says Australia’s transmission network has not kept pace with the transition to a 21st century energy system, highlighting the situation in Victoria where existing solar facilities are having output constrained and new renewables projects are experiencing difficulties connecting to the grid.

“Over the last year we have seen a massive 50 per cent decrease in large-scale renewable energy investment and we know that the lack of investment in transmission is the single biggest factor preventing the deployment of new generation projects,” said CEC CEO Kane Thornton.

Earlier this month, Victoria’s Andrews Government said it was taking action to enable urgent upgrades to the state’s energy transmission network and will “override the complex and outdated national regulatory regime”.

Also in the pipeline is Project EnergyConnect, which will be an above-ground transmission line running from Robertstown in SA’s mid-north to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales via Buronga, and includes an additional connection to Red Cliffs in Victoria’s north-west.

Leave a Reply