As one of the sunniest countries on the planet, Australia is ideally placed to include large-scale solar power as a major part of its energy mix. Large-scale solar uses the same technology as rooftop solar panels – specially fabricated semiconductor crystals that convert light from the sun into electricity.
With solar prices falling dramatically (from $US178/MWh to just $US50/MWh over the past eight years*), large-scale solar is already one of the most attractive options for new generation.
Large-scale solar officially announced its arrival as a genuine renewable energy contender in 2018, with 28 projects adding 1442 MW of new capacity. Large-scale solar generated 1875 GWh of electricity in 2018, accounting for 3.9 per cent of Australia’s clean energy and 0.8 per cent of overall electricity generation.
of total clean energy generated in 2018
of total electricity generated in 2018
The amount of large-scale solar installed around the country more than quadrupled in 2018, increasing from 382 MW in 2017 to 1824 MW in 2018. With large-scale solar projects making up more than two thirds of all the renewable energy projects under construction or financially committed at the end of 2018, the sector's contribution to renewable energy generation in Australia will grow significantly in coming years.
The Renewable Energy Target, the decreasing cost of technology and corporate power purchase agreements have all played crucial roles in the sector's rapid growth.
Projects commissioned in 201828
Projects under construction or financially committed at the end of 201859
The size of large-scale solar plants continues to grow. Not only did 2018 produce a record number of projects being completed, it also delivered the six largest solar farms in the country. These were the 150 MW Coleambally Solar Farm, the 138 MW Darling Downs Solar Farm, the 128 MW Clare Solar Farm, the 125 MW Sun Metals Solar Farm, the 110 MW Wemen Solar Farm and the 110 MW Bannerton Solar Farm.
You can view more detail on the projects that have been completed and are being constructed around the country on our project tracker page.