New South Wales

NSW solar farm approvals double in 2017

NSW Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts last week said the state's planning system gave the green light to 10 projects in 2017, twice the number of projects approved the year before, while another solar farm has already been approved this year.

"Once the 10 solar projects are up and running, they will have a combined solar capacity of nearly 1,200 megawatts and collectively reduce carbon emissions by over 2.5 million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking around 800,000 cars off the road," Mr Roberts said.

Solar panels in Maules Creek, NSW
Above: Solar panels in Maules Creek, NSW / by Kate Ausburn.

"The projects are all located in regional NSW and will support around 1,800 construction jobs. Sunny Central West NSW proved to be a hotspot in 2017, with six of the 10 proposals coming from the region.

"It may be early in 2018, and yet we've already approved another 170MW solar project in the Riverina, known as the Finley Solar Project.

"Our state already benefits from three operating solar farms in Nyngan, Moree and Broken Hill. There are another seven solar projects currently under construction across regional NSW in Parkes, Yoogali, Manildra, Dubbo, Glenn Innes, Goulburn and Forbes.

"The Nyngan Solar Plant in the state's North-West is the largest operating solar farm in Australia and is visible from outer space."

Minister for Resources and Energy, Don Harwin, said the popularity of solar power was clear.

"The NSW Government has now approved 22 solar projects in total and we have more renewable generation capacity under construction than any other state, at around 1,000 megawatts," Mr Harwin said.

"These projects will ensure our energy security and with many more in the pipeline, NSW is in a stronger position than other states.

"Balancing energy generation remains very important. We need to harness a diverse range of technologies for energy affordability, reliability and security."

Solar farm proposals approved by the NSW Government in the last 12 months:

  • Limondale Solar Farm, Balranald, Far West NSW (250 MW)
  • Sunraysia Solar Farm, Balranald, Far West NSW (200 MW)
  • Coleambally Solar Farm, Coleambally, Riverina Murray NSW (150 MW)
  • Nevertire Solar Farm, Dubbo, Central West NSW (120 MW)
  • Hillston Sun Farm, Hillston, Central West NSW (100 MW)
  • Metz Solar Farm, Armidale, New England North West NSW (100 MW)
  • Gilgandra Solar Farm, Gilgandra, Central West NSW (40 MW)
  • Walgett Solar Farm, Walgett, Central West NSW (30MW)
  • Beryl Solar Farm, Gulgong, Central West NSW (95MW)
  • Hay Solar Farm, Central West NSW (100MW)
  • Finley Solar Farm, Central West NSW (170 MW)
  • Total solar power capacity: 1,355 Megawatts

Photo: Solar panels in Maules Creek, NSW / Kate Ausburn / Licensed under Creative Commons BY 2.0.

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