The solar industry has continued its expansion into the Riverina, with a planning permit granted for NSW’s largest solar farm near Narrandera.
The NSW government’s Planning and Environment Department gave the green light to Yarrabee Solar Farm late last month.
The development will include “a 900-megawatt solar farm with energy storage and associated infrastructure”.
The $1 billion project will be located at Yarrabee Park about 23 kilometres from Narrandera.
NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin welcomed the NSW government’s approval for construction of one of Australia’s biggest solar farms in the Riverina.
“When built, this new solar farm will have the capacity to power a city nearly twice the size of Newcastle,” he said.
“This project will support over 450 construction jobs over the construction period of around four-and-a-half years, providing a significant economic boost to the local economy.
“The project will significantly increase our energy capacity while contributing to a cleaner energy future for our state – a win-win.”
Over a period of 18 months, about three million solar panels will be installed at the site, reaching heights of up to four metres.
According to Reach Solar Energy, the company behind the development, the farm will produce enough power for up to 315,000 homes.
While the project is being developed to create and provide renewable energy, there are a range of benefits to the local community of Narrandera, the company stated.
“With a focus on hiring locally, as well as utilising local products, the region will see a range of solar and economic benefits,” it said.
Reach Solar plans to have the solar farm start producing electricity by 2020.
The solar panels at the 2600-hectare site will also prevent the release of emissions equivalent to that produced by 540,000 cars.
When completed, the Yarrabee Solar Farm will add significantly to NSW’s solar power output, which currently stands at a total of up to 500 megawatts from nine separate operating farms.
The Yarrabee farm will have a lifespan of about 30 years and will connect to the grid via a new 300 kilovolt substation to be built next to the existing Wagga to Darlington Point power transmission line.
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