Parkes solar farm the highest performing in the country

HIGHEST PERFORMER: The Parkes Solar Farm has an annual spot revenue of $160,000/MW, the highest in the country. Photo: Parkes Solar Farm
HIGHEST PERFORMER: The Parkes Solar Farm has an annual spot revenue of $160,000/MW, the highest in the country. Photo: Parkes Solar Farm

Two solar farms have only been operating in Parkes for the last three years and already one is the highest performing in the country.

A clean energy report has revealed that solar farms in NSW are performing better than large-scale renewable options in other states and territories and that Parkes Solar Farm is the best performing.

According to renewable energy company Energy Matters, the data has been extracted from the Generator Statistical Digest 2020, published by Global-Roam and Greenview Strategic Consulting which assessed the performances of large-scale solar farms across the country in 2020.

Energy Matters said that a deeper analysis presented by the Renew Economy showed that 15 of the top 20 best performing large-scale solar farms in the country were in NSW, including the top five.

"The performance was based on revenue per megawatt (MW) of maximum capacity to determine which solar farms were making the most in returns for investors," Energy Matters said.

"In some instances, NSW farms were outpacing Queensland solar farms 2-1.

"An example was the Parkes Solar Farm which has an annual spot revenue of $160,000/MW, while the highest performing Queensland site, which is based at Longreach in the middle of the arid central Queensland region, only returns $80,000/MW."

Parkes was the highest performing large-scale solar farm in terms of revenue per megawatt (MW) of maximum capacity, followed by other NSW operations at Moree, Griffith, Manildra and Nyngan.

The Victorian solar farm at Numurkah was the sixth-highest performing solar farm, followed by another run of NSW sites Coleambally, Beryl, Mugga Lane, Finley, Nevertire, Royalla, White Rock, Gullen Range and Limondale.

Energy Matters said Longreach was the highest performing Queensland solar operation, while Tailem Bend was the best out of South Australia.

"The first and most important criteria for this research was that all of the solar farms included had to have been in operation for the entire year in 2020," Energy Matters said.

"The spot revenue was derived from data sourced from the Australian Energy Market Operator's publicly available data."

Parkes Solar Farm in the town's west has been operating since April 2018.

It is one of the first solar farms constructed by Neoen in Australia, who are also are proposing a wind farm at Alectown.

Goonumbla Solar Farm, also located west of Parkes about 10 kilometres, was switched on in August 2020.

Both farms are situated within the Parkes Special Activation Precinct site.

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