Australia’s first co-located wind and solar farm Gullen Solar Farm has officially been launched by Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy (BJCE). Located in the NSW Southern Tablelands, the 28-hectare solar farm was jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is jointly owned by BJCE and Goldwind (Capital) Australia.

Consisting of 42,000 solar panels and generating enough electricity to power over 3,100 homes on an average day of sunshine, Gullen Solar Farm will offset more than 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the NSW grid every year, which equates to the average annual emissions of approximately 7000 passenger vehicles.

BJCE Australia general manager Weiwei Shi said: “This is an historic moment for clean energy in Australia. Gullen Solar Farm is an important demonstration project – right at the forefront of renewable energy integration technology. It proves the advantages of co-locating energy infrastructure, which effectively minimizes costs and environmental impacts. Together with our 73-turbine wind farm, the combined facility can power more than 70,000 average homes.”

According to NSW Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin the 10 megawatt Gullen Solar Farm, is the first of seven large-scale solar projects expected to start operating this year.

“This is playing an important role in our energy security and regional development,” said Harwin.

The Gullen solar farm has been producing electricity since last year and ARENA chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht says Gullen is an important milestone for co-located renewable energy services in Australia.

“The success of the Gullen Solar Farm has laid the groundwork for more solar plants to be built alongside wind farms in other areas of Australia and is also helping large-scale solar costs fall more quickly,” said Frischknecht.

“Wind farm owners across Australia can look to Gullen and see the benefits of adding solar plants such as reducing the environmental impact, increasing their renewable energy output, and saving money on grid connection, approvals and site development costs by co-locating renewables.”

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