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Government approves largest solar farms in southern Australia

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the New South Wales government have approved the largest solar energy project in the southern hemisphere.

Costing US$402 million, the two projects will see around two million solar panels erected in the Australian outback. Renewable energy company AGL Energy said it will build two large-scale solar photovoltaic installations in New South Wales: a 102 MW solar plant at Nyngan and a 53 MW solar plant at Broken Hill.

The AGL projects will produce some 360,000 MW hours of electricity annually, sufficient to meet the needs of over 50,000 average NSW homes.

The world’s largest thin-film solar company, First Solar, will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction services.

Construction of the Nyngan project is expected to begin in January 2014, with completion scheduled for mid-2015. Construction of the Broken Hill project will in July 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in November 2015.

The PV market in Australia is mostly made up of residential systems but with the ending of incentives and rising electricity prices, commercial and utility-scale installations are increasing their market share.

Source: «Asianpower»