What will be Australia’s biggest solar farm once commissioning is complete – the 275MW Darlington project in south-west NSW – has sent its first output to the grid as it begins the lengthy journey to full production.
Darlington finally received its registration with the Australian Energy Market Operator, having installed not one, but two, large synchronous condensers too help it negotiate some of the problems facing that part of the network – system strength and grid congestion issues.
The first output was captured by Paul McArdle from Global Roam, the providers of our popular NEW-Watch widget, with initial injections of around 5MW over the last few days.
The commissioning process could take several months, as the solar farm ramps up to various “hold points”, where it will be required to undergo further testing to satisfy the local transmission company Transgrid and AEMO that all is well with its equipment and settings.
Darlington is jointly owned by Octopus Investments and Edify Enegy.
Once complete, the 275MW Darlington facility will overtake the 220MW Bungala solar complex, which has finally reached full capacity after nearly two years of delays to the second stage of the project, and the nearby Limondale solar project where the larger stage 1 is also entering the commissioning phase.
The title of biggest solar farm will not be held for long, however, with Neoen starting to build the 400MW Western Downs solar farm in south-west Queensland after landing a long term contract with the state-owned CleanCo.