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This article was published on March 30, 2017


Australia lays claim to the biggest solar farm in the world

Australia lays claim to the biggest solar farm in the world
Már Másson Maack
Story by

Már Másson Maack

Editor, Growth Quarters by TNW

Már tries to juggle his editorial duties with writing the occasional weird article. He also loves talking about himself in the third person. Már tries to juggle his editorial duties with writing the occasional weird article. He also loves talking about himself in the third person.

Australia is probably one of the most obvious countries in the world to build a large scale adoption of solar energy. The endless burning hot sun is just waiting to be harnessed.

We’ve seen innovative energy systems from Australia before, but this time Australia impresses with size. A massive solar farm and battery project will be built later this year in the Riverland region in South Australia.

According to the Guardian, the facility will cost one billion dollars and should be operational by the end of the year. The huge undertaking is financed by investors and built on privately owned land. The developer of the project is Lyon Group, an Australian company that specialized in renewable energy solutions.

The solar farm will consist of 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries which will be able to produce 330 MW (1 MW can power up to 1,000 homes) and store up to 100 MW. According to Lyon Group, this immense battery storage will make the farm the biggest of its kind in the world.

Many countries are contending to be the ‘biggest’ as India unveiled last year the world’s largest solar power plant. The facility in India produces 648 MW and covers an area of 10 sq km, which is considerably more than Australia’s farm. However, it doesn’t come close to the storage abilities of Australia’s farm.

In an interview with the Guardian, Lyon Group partner David Green said the project would increase energy capacity of the local market and that the company would build more in the future:

We see the inevitability of the need to have large-scale solar and integrated batteries as part of any move to decarbonize.

It’s great private companies see the benefit of investing in renewable energy, as a joint effort between the private and public sectors are needed to meet the goals of COP21.

The local government in South Australia is happy with Lyon Group’s initiative and states that there’s a lot of interest from companies to invest in renewable energies in the region. South Australia is currently looking for partnership with companies to create a new battery storage system.

The government will go through viable bids in the next few weeks and also launch its own 150 million dollar renewable technology fund. The future sure is bright for Australia’s solar energy endeavors.