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Thursday, 16 March 2017

NSW would increase its national lead in renewable solar power projects with 12 new solar farm proposals, including what could be the largest in the southern hemisphere, now in the state planning pipeline.


Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said the new proposals could generate more than 1000 megawatts of solar capacity, enough clean energy supply to power 365,000 homes across NSW.


“The 1000 megawatts is on top of the 660 megawatts that will be generated by 11 other solar farms that the NSW Government has already given the green light since 2011,” Mr Roberts said.


“We already have three solar plants in regional NSW that are online – Nyngan, Moree and Broken Hill. Nyngan is currently the biggest operating in the southern hemisphere, generating 100 megawatts for 32,000 homes.


“But the proposed Sunraysia Solar Farm near the Riverina town of Balranald would produce double the solar energy of Nyngan and is currently on public exhibition.

“NSW is continuing to lead with solar research and innovation, and we are maximising investment in order to reach the national renewable energy target of 23.5 per cent by 2020.


“Our aim is for a secure, reliable, affordable and clean energy future and projects such as these are great opportunities that enable us to deliver on this.”


Mr Roberts said in addition to the benefits of clean renewable energy from solar, the new proposals would provide jobs and local investment in regional communities.


Minister for Resources and Energy and Utilities, Don Harwin, said the projects will provide significant benefits for the state and compliment key Government priorities.


“If approved, these proposals could generate sustainable power and local jobs for towns such as Gilgandra, Hillston, Narrabri, Armidale, Coleambally, Gulgong, Walgett, Jemalong, Balranald, Nyngan and Hay. The Nyngan solar farm alone created 250 construction jobs and provided $330 million in investment.


“Strengthening the state’s energy security, and developing economic opportunities and boosting jobs in our regions are priorities for this government. When we make this happen through renewable energy projects it’s a win-win for NSW.”