NSW Government approves four new solar projects in state’s west

NSW Renewable Energy Action PlanNSW Renewable Energy Action Plan

Four new solar projects in western NSW will generate power for more than 100,000 homes.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment approved the clean energy projects this week.

Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts welcomed the Nevertire, Walgett, Gilgandra and Metz projects.

Mr Roberts said the projects will create 645 local construction jobs.

“NSW’s four new solar farms will have capacity to supply 275 megawatts of energy to the grid for NSW communities, businesses and services,” he said.

NSW committed to RET and State renewable energy targets

Mr Roberts said the State Government is committed to the national Renewable Energy Target (RET). Furthermore, he said the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan was on track.

The NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan guides the NSW’s renewable energy development. It supports the national target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

NSW solar projects in state's west

Four new solar projects in western NSW bring the total to 16 large-scale solar projects across the state. Image: Pixabay

“We are well on the way toward the 20 per cent target for renewable energy by 2020,” Mr Roberts said. “Our focus is on ensuring energy security and affordability for our communities, businesses and services.”

The plan aims to increase energy from renewable sources at the least cost to the customer and with maximum benefits to NSW.

The strategy is to work closely with NSW communities and the renewable energy industry to increase energy generation.

North-west NSW emerges as solar power generation hub

Strict conditions will control the impact of the new solar projects. This will ensure no adverse visual impacts on surrounding residences.

In assessing the merits of each of the new solar projects, the Department of Planning and Environment consulted with community, landowners and councils.

As a result, Metz hosted information sessions for the surrounding communities of Armidale and Hillgrove in January.

Mr Roberts said north-west NSW is becoming one of the solar power generation hubs of the state.

Adding the four solar farms means there are now 16 large-scale solar projects across NSW.

Consequently, it’s expected the 16 large-scale solar farms will create power for 423,000 households. Their combined capacity will be 1,131 MW of renewable energy.