Thursday, 23 June 2016
20 megawatt solar farm coming for Glen Innes
ANOTHER big step in the region’s energy transition, the approval of a solar farm at the Goldwind’s White Rock Wind Farm near Glen Innes, has been commended by local State MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the proposed 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant will complement the $400 million, 175 megawatt wind farm now under construction.
“In the last 12 months this electorate has leapt from having no large-scale energy generation, to the construction and commissioning of facilities capable of powering tens of thousands of homes,” Mr Marshall said.
“That’s the miracle of renewable energy. It’s not just that we can generate power from renewables sources, like the sun and wind; it’s that we can harvest this energy in our communities, generating jobs and adding another robust source of revenue to local economies.”
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment announced approval late last week for the Goldwind solar farm.
Goldwind Australia managing director John Titchen said farm will tie into the power generation infrastructure being built at White Rock Wind Farm.
“Goldwind recognises and welcomes the strong community support for solar and wind energy development in the Northern Tablelands,” Mr Titchen said. “We see great potential in this region.”
The Goldwind solar farm is the electorate’s second major solar PV facility. FRV’s 56 MW Moree Solar Farm, Australia’s largest single-axis tracking solar farm, starting generating electricity earlier this year.
Earthmoving machinery contracted by Goldwind has been hard at work in the ranges west of Glen Innes since May, preparing the ground to build Australia’s largest wind farm.
The facility will initially have 70 2.5 megawatt turbines, but planning approval has been granted for 119 turbines.
In October, work is scheduled to begin on CWP Renewable’s Sapphire Wind Farm, also west of Glen Innes, which will eventually eclipse White Rock with 159 turbines.
These renewable energy projects have already started to pump hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the Glen Innes and Inverell communities, Mr Marshall said.
“I continue to talk with TransGrid about construction of a renewable energy hub near Glen Innes. A hub would allow easier and cheaper access for wind and solar projects to the electricity grid,” he said.
“If the hub is built, the region will become even more attractive for renewable energy projects because grid connection costs will be reduced.”
“We’re a long way from snatching the title of being the State’s energy generation hub from the Hunter Valley, but it’s no exaggeration to say that the developments we’ve seen this year change everything.”