The NSW government has approved a new $61 million solar farm at Gregadoo, continuing Wagga’s run of renewable energy projects this year.
According to the planning application, the project was expected to create 200 jobs during nine months of construction, with an emphasis on sourcing labour from the region.
When constructed, the solar farm will support two ongoing operational jobs at the site on Boiling Down Road, about three kilometres south of Lake Albert.
The project calls for 122,000 solar panels, which will generate up to 47 megawatts and power more than 17,500 homes.
Green Switch Australia project director Symon Grasby said it was a great milestone for the proposed farm and he hoped to start construction next year.
“We’re very pleased to have reached this point; we stall have some work to do to complete the grid connection consent process.
“We’re underway with that and we’re hopeful that will arrive in the next six months.
“We’re hopeful of (starting construction) in the second half of next year.”
Mr Grasby said the Gregadoo location was chosen due to its access to the power grid.
“The site gives us an excellent opportunity to connect into the grid at the TransGrid substation.
“When we add that to the site that we have got, which is excellent for the construction of a solar farm and our very supportive landowners, then we have got an excellent combination on which to base our project.”
The Gregadoo Solar Farm is the second major solar project to be approved near Wagga in the past three months, following Renew Estate’s $164 million project at Bomen.
Mr Grasby said more solar projects would benefit Wagga as the region would be able to support additional businesses that could bid for construction work.
“We would like to see as much of our supply chain as possible coming from local suppliers,” he said.
“The more solar projects, the stronger the business opportunities are for the local supply network.”
Department of Planning and Environment resource assessments director Clay Preshaw said there were no formal objections from community members.
The department did consult with a number of surrounding landowners, whom raised concerns about visual impacts and land use compatibility.