AGL & SunDrive Partner For Solar PV Manufacturing Factory

Decommissioned Coal Power Station Site In Australia’s New South Wales To Produce Solar Panels

AGL & SunDrive Partner For Solar PV Manufacturing Factory

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (4th from left in the front line) welcomed the AGL and SunDrive partnership. (Photo Credit: SunDrive)

  • AGL and SunDrive have entered an MoU to explore a solar panel manufacturing plant in NSW 
  • SunDrive will explore the feasibility of establishing the PV plant on-site AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub 
  • AGL will also explore an offtake agreement with SunDrive for the panels produced here 

Following the Australian government’s announcement of the Solar Sunshot program to support the domestic solar manufacturing industry, the state utility AGL Energy has revealed plans to build a solar module manufacturing plant in association with SunDrive. 

AGL, which counts the billionaire and renewable energy proponent Mike-Cannon Brookes as its largest shareholder, plans to offer its decommissioned Liddell Coal-Fired Power Station site in New South Wales (NSW) for SunDrive to locate a solar PV manufacturing plant. AGL had previously announced plans to transform its Liddell Power Station and Bayswater Power Station sites into a low carbon integrated energy hub, calling it the Hunter Energy Hub in Muswellbrook, Hunter region. 

It has already taken the final investment decision on the 500 MW/2 hour grid-scale Liddell battery for the site. 

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed, AGL and SunDrive will carry out a feasibility study to identify key infrastructure and engineering requirements to develop, construct and operate a solar PV manufacturing fab in the Hunter Energy Hub Advanced Manufacturing Precinct. 

If established, says AGL, it will be the first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing facility in Australia. It will produce ‘hundreds of thousands of panels, scaling to millions, and creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs.’ 

AGL will also explore an offtake agreement to purchase SunDrive solar panels for its customers. The latter calls itself the leading deployer of solar PV to commercial and industrial (C&I) users and has close to 600,000 residential and business customers with solar panels. 

Operating a 1.5 MW/year prototype line of its copper-based solar cell metallization technology, SunDrive is the recipient of an AUD 11 million funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to expand the line to over 100 MW/year for commercial production in NSW’s Kurnell (see Australian Solar Tech Company Bags AUD 11 Million).  

SunDrive says the investment decision for the Hunter manufacturing fab will be subject to financial and technical feasibility of the AGL Hunter Energy Hub site and securing sufficient Australian government support for the large-scale facility. 

The federal government of Australia recently announced its new AUD 1 billion Solar Sunshot program to support the development of domestic solar PV manufacturing capabilities (see Australia Announces AUD 1 Billion For Solar Program). 

Announcing the AGL and SunDrive partnership, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “These panels, this technology that SunDrive has developed, is the most efficient in the world. Why wouldn’t you take that opportunity and pair it with AGL’s vision that they have, with my government’s commitment, with the New South Wales government’s commitment to manufacture more things here, whether it’s solar panels or train carriages or ferries, or other goods that are used here in New South Wales, and have a future made right here in Australia? That’s what the billion-dollar SunShot program is about.” 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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