Renewable Energy The IIG Solar Income Fund asset

The Karratha Solar Farm

A one-megawatt solar farm next to Karratha Airport in Western Australia.

Published: November 23, 2017

About The Solar Farm

The 1MW Solar Farm,about 850km southwest of Broome, provides approximately a third of the local Karratha Airport’s electricity needs.

The City of Karratha has a power purchase agreement to buy all the electricity generated by the farm for a term of 21 years with an option to extend (at the Fund’s discretion) for a further 10 years.

Karratha Solar Farm Opening

The project received a $2.3million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Regional Australia program based on its innovative use of cloud prediction technology that will help reduce costs for remote area PV installation.

Asset Type

Solar Farm

Location

Adjacent to Karratha Airport in Western Australia.

Generating Capacity

1 megawatt peak (MWp)

Purchase Price

$7.2 million

Commissioned Date

September 2016

PPA Purchaser

City of Karratha

PPA Term

21 years with an option to extend (at the Fund’s discretion) for a further 10 years.

Impact

The electricity produced from the solar farm provides approximately a third of the Airport’s electricity needs.
Key Stats
Annual CO2-e Tonnes Abated 887
Annual Clean Energy Generation 1,824 MWh
Full time equivalent construction jobs 25

The Cloud Prediction Technology, showcased at the solar farm is designed to smooth out power generation from the facility in tandem with a battery system.

In the case of the Karratha Solar Farm the system has enabled the battery capacity to be significantly reduced. It tracks cloud movements and predicts when they will block the sun’s energy from hitting the panels and cause a sudden drop in the power output.

The system avoids this disruption by gradually reducing electricity output, allowing the solar farm to meet its obligations to the grid. It has saved more than 20% in battery storage, significantly reducing construction cost and resource consumption.