Renowned for its red sands, dry climate, and eternal sunshine, it is no surprise that Western Australia (WA) has some of the largest solar farms in the country. The 132MW Merredin Solar Farm, Western Australia’s largest solar farm to date (462ha), is making waves this month as it has started sending power to the grid after its construction in March 2019.
The 132MW Merredin Solar Farm is one of three renewable energy projects that will join Western Australia’s grid in 2020. It will join the Greenough River, Emu Downs, Northam and Badginarra solar farms in a country first grid-scale solar farming program. Owned by Risen Energy, the 132MW Solar Farm is stationed in WA’s Central Wheatbelt. With over 360,000 solar panels installed the solar farm is expected to produce an output of 281GWh of electricity annually to approximately 42,000 WA homes.
22 Inverter stations will be used to convert the solar energy into alternating current (AC) before it enters the Merredin Terminal Substation.
The Merredin Terminal Substation previously housed the old Merredin diesel generator. In the first few days of solar production however, it was found that the solar farm produced over twice the amount of energy than the generator could in the entire year- proving solar’s place within WA’s commercial energy industry.
3-5 full-time workers will be employed to maintain the solar installation while over 200 positions will be created through-out the life span of the project. Risen Energy “recognises the importance of contributing to the Western Australian economy” and “The Merredin Solar Farm [aims to] support the Western Australian Government’s transition to a green energy future.”
The installation is estimated to have a 30-year operational life span and at the end of the facilities use, all physical infrastructure will be removed – returning the land in its original agricultural purpose.
Interested in how you can turn to solar too?
Use our solar quiz to determine what type of solar installation is optimum for your property.
Still not sure? You can check out how much solar your suburb is generating in comparison to others through the Western Power’s site.