Australia’s Largest Solar Farm Opened

Canberra’s Royalla Solar Farm, owned by Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), was opened on Wednesday.

The 24MWp solar power plant  is located just south of Tuggeranong, approximately 23 kilometres south of the Canberra CBD and will generate enough electricity to supply around 4,500 Canberra homes.

Comprised of 83,000 solar panels, it’s not only largest solar farm in Australia, Royalla is also the first large scale solar facility connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Among those at the opening were ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell, Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes and Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton.

“This project has helped to demonstrate the exciting opportunity and massive benefits that large scale solar can deliver in Australia,” said Mr. Thornton.

“The Royalla Solar Farm is a showcase for what is possible using today’s technology, and has utilised many local businesses, suppliers and contractors to deliver a real boost to the local economy.”

FRV has fully developed more than 360 MW of solar farms and has played a role in the development of over 2,750 Mw at different project stages.

Mr. Thornton congratulated FRV and the ACT government for its commitment to the project, which has been constructed during an uncertain period in Australia due to the Renewable Energy Target review.

Prior to the opening of the Royalla Solar Farm, Minister Corbell condemned the findings of the review; which were publicly released last week.

“I regret to say that the outcome of the RET Review was all too dismally predictable, in that it confirmed the prejudices of the reviewers, and clearly was not an objective assessment of the effectiveness of the renewable energy target,” he said in a RenewEconomy interview.

“The Review’s own modeling, and the conclusions that come from the effectiveness of the RET, demonstrate that it is policy that is working, and the only things that got in the way of reaching those conclusions in the report was the prejudice against renewable energy.”

Minister Corbell said depending on the government response to the review report, he would approach his state counterparts to determine the possibility of developing some coordinated policies that could support renewable energy across the states and territories. South Australia may be a willing participant – it recently also gave the Warburton report a big thumbs down.