Excitement, the country’s largest hybrid solar and battery energy storage facility will be located at Uralla’s New England Solar Farm thanks to a $12.5 million State Government contribution, with local landholder Richard Munsie, Adam Marshall MP, UPC/AC Renewables Head of Solar Development Killian Wentrup and landholder Cameron Wood.
Thursday, 13 August 2020
AUSTRALIA’S largest hybrid solar and battery energy storage facility will soon call Uralla home, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $12.5 million State Government grant to support the construction of a 50 megawatt/hour (MW/h) battery at the New England Solar Farm.
Mr Marshall said the 50MW/h battery will be co-located with stage 1 of the UPC/AC Renewables’ 720MW New England Solar Farm.
“This is another huge coup for our region and demonstrating the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) is already delivering innovation, infrastructure and industry at a rapid fire rate,” Mr Marshall said.
“The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will be included in the project’s first stage and will be built alongside the 400MW solar farm.
“The BESS will be capable of dispatching energy to the grid at times of high demand, further progressing the region’s goal of becoming a net exporter of renewable energy.
“Construction on the battery is expected to start early next year and will take about 12 months. During peak construction 40 jobs will be created with three ongoing roles once the technology is commissioned.
“Combined with the recently announced Sapphire Battery Farm, these two projects will provide enough dispatchable energy to power 118,000 homes for an hour, equivalent to a city roughly ten times the size of Armidale.
“It’s astounding to think in just two months since the REZ was announced, our electorate has seen $22 million invested by the State Government in flagship renewable energy projects, helping to create 84 construction and operational jobs and grow the local economy.
“When this project is completed, we will proudly hold the mantle as the capital of renewables for NSW and, perhaps in the not too distant future, all of Australia.”
The New England Solar Farm will be built across two solar fields about six kilometers east of Uralla. Based on the 720MW target capacity of both stages, the solar farm will produce around 1,800,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean electricity each year – enough to power about 250,000 NSW homes.
UPC/AC Renewables Head of Solar Development Killian Wentrup said the BESS would ensure the solar farm can provide dispatchable power when it is most needed by households.
“Solar energy combined with battery storage is a clean, reliable, cost effective way of supplying NSW homes with their energy needs into the future,” Mr Wentrup said.
“Should the cost of batteries continue to fall and the need for firming energy increase the company also has planning approval to expand the battery capacity up to 400 MWh, creating up to 200 jobs at peak construction.
“Planning for the overall project is charging ahead, with a connection agreement finalized with Transgrid, which will allow the 720 MW solar farm to connect and supply power into the NSW electricity grid, and be traded in the National Electricity Market.
“Design work on the transmission substation to be constructed as part of the approved development will begin soon, allowing the project to connect to the existing 330kV line that crosses the solar farm site.
“Work is also underway on the design of the access road upgrades, with the upgrades being needed prior to commencement of construction of the solar farm.
“I want to thank Adam and the NSW Government for providing this support through the Emerging Energy Program.”