New South Wales

NSW Government approves State's first solar farm

THE NSW Government this week announced that it has approved the State's first commercial solar farm near Nyngan in north-western NSW.

The $300 million farm will be located approximately 2 kilometres from the Nyngan township and will be constructed over 200 hectares. Planning Minister Tony Kelly said the location was ideal as it is a hot and dry part of NSW.

"Today's approval of the $300 million project is a milestone in the State's bid to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Mr Kelly said.

The solar farm will have a 100 megawatt capacity, enough energy to power 20,000 homes. Mr Kelly said the development would contribute towards the NSW State Plan target to source 20 per cent of the State's electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The project was proposed by Infigen Suntech Australia in response to the Federal Government's Solar Flagships Program. The program includes a $1.5 billion commitment from the Australian Government to support the construction and demonstration of up to four large solar power plants in Australia.

The solar farm will consist of 70 blocks of solar panels installed between one and three metres above ground. It will feed power directly into the grid via a connection to the existing Nyngan substation immediately adjacent to the site.

A total of 49 conditions were imposed on the development, including noise monitoring, a limit on vegetation clearing, preparation of a biodiversity offset plan and a requirement to reduce visual impact of the farm.

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