New South Wales approves first large scale solar farm
New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, today approved the construction of a $300m solar farm to be built by Infigen and Suntech as part of a new joint venture.
The 100MW farm will be built in the state’s west, covering about 200 hectares and generating enough energy to power 20,000 homes.
Planning minister Tony Kelly said 70 blocks of photovoltaic solar panels up to three metres off the ground would feed power directly into the grid.
”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,” said Kelly.
The plant will have a third of its costs – around $100m – covered by the Australian Government’s $1.5bn Solar Flagships program, which will support the construction of up to four large scale, grid-connected solar farms in Australia.
Infigen will develop the infrastructure and transmission lines while Suntech will supply the solar panels. The firms will also seek a power purchase agreement to help underwrite the cost of the project.
Infigen Energy is better known as a developer of wind farms, with 35 wind farms globally, including six in Australia.
The company has already identified another three potential sites for farms at Bungendore, Manildra and Moree.
Fifty-five jobs will be created during construction of the solar farm and the project will provide five full-time positions.
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