THE NSW Department of Planning and Environment last week announced the approval of four new solar projects in western NSW that could power more than 100,000 homes and create up to 645 construction jobs.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the clean energy projects at Nevertire, Walgett, Gilgandra and Metz will have a combined capacity to supply 275 megawatts of energy to the grid for NSW communities, businesses and services.
"NSW continues to lead Australia in large-scale solar. We are committed to our country's Renewable Energy Target and the State's Renewable Energy Action Plan, and we are well on the way toward the 20 per cent target for renewable energy by 2020," Mr Roberts said.
"North-west NSW is fast becoming one of the solar power generation hubs of the state, and our solar investment is making a huge contribution to our clean, renewable energy targets."
In assessing the merits of each of the projects, the Department said it consulted extensively with the community, landowners and local councils, with strict conditions in place to manage the construction impacts of the projects, and ensure there are no adverse visual impacts on surrounding residences.
With the addition of these four new solar farms, the Department has now approved 16 new large-scale solar projects across NSW.
"When the four new farms begin operation, NSW's 16 large-scale solar farms will generate sustainable power for 423,000 households, with a combined capacity for 1,131 megawatts of renewable energy," Mr Roberts said.