Badgingarra now a solar hotspot

Tamra Carr and Geoff VivianMidwest Times
Energy Minister Bill Johnston and APA Group CEO Rob Wheals.
Camera IconEnergy Minister Bill Johnston and APA Group CEO Rob Wheals.

Badgingarra is expected to reduce its amount of WA greenhouse gas emissions by 32,900 tonnes a year, thanks to a new Hill River solar farm.

The site, about 200km north of Perth, is a $40 million build which has the capacity to power more than 6000 WA homes.

Recently opened by Energy Minister Bill Johnston, the APA Group’s Badgingarra Solar Farm has almost 62,000 solar panels installed across 40ha.

It is the fourth APA renewable energy project, located next to Badgingarra Wind Farm, the Emu Downs Wind Farm, and Emu Downs Solar Farm.

According to the State, these projects will prevent 8.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas floating into the atmosphere over the next quarter of a century.

The project includes 85 wind turbines and almost 140,000 solar panels.

Meanwhile, Bright Energy Investments says stage two of its Greenough River Solar Farm is progressing well and should be producing electricity in the second quarter of 2020.

A company representative said the initial 10MW facility was being expanded by a further 30MW to become the first “utility-scale” solar plant to be constructed in Australia. The construction contractor is Australian-based juwi Renewable Energy.

BEI general manager Tom Frood said he was pleased to see the visible development of the project.

“Progress is becoming quite clear on the site now with the installation of the posts nearly complete and tracking systems and panels going up rapidly,” he said.

During construction, more than 300,000 solar panels will be installed.

Unlike the stage one facility, which has fixed solar panels, the stage two solar panels are mounted on a single-axis tracking system.

This follows the sun to provide more electricity generation in the mornings and afternoons.

When completed, the 40MW facility will generate enough electricity to power about 19,800 WA homes.

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