The ACT continues to surge towards its 100 per cent clean energy target, with the commencement of the territory’s second utility-scale solar farm.

The 13 MW Mugga Lane Solar Park – which will be the ACT’s second largest PV facility after the 20 MW Royalla solar farm – began construction on 17 March with a sod-turning ceremony overseen by ACT environment minister Simon Corbell.

The facility will include around 48,000 polycrystalline PV modules that will generate an estimated 24,500 MWh of electricity per year – enough to power around 3,250 Canberra homes. A portion of the array will use sun-tracking technology to increase output throughout the day.

The solar farm is being constructed on the corner of Mugga Lane and the Monaro Highway, and will be owned and operated by Maoneng Group, formally Zhenfa Australia. The facility will be “agriculturally integrated’, meaning the land will also be used for agricultural activities such as grazing livestock.

Mr Corbell said: “The ACT Government is proud to be working with Maoneng to develop Canberra’s second solar farm.”

“We are committed to ensuring that by 2020, 90 per cent of Canberra’s electricity supply will come from renewable energy.

“Large-scale renewable energy generation, from both solar and wind, is key to achieving this.”

Mr Corbell said that over the past five years the ACT Government has attracted more than $1.5 billion in renewable energy investment, which has supported a 400 per cent growth in renewable energy jobs. A third utility-scale solar farm is also being constructed in the ACT this year – the 11.18 MW OneSun Capital solar farm near Williamsdale.

“The Mugga Lane Solar Park project is particularly exciting because it includes innovative technology, with half a megawatt of ground-mounted solar panels that track the sun throughout the day,” Mr Corbell said.

A winner in the ACT’s first solar auction almost three years ago, Zhenfa Australia recently underwent a restructure and was renamed Maoneng Group.

Maoneng plans to have the project substantially completed by the end of this year.