The number of solar farms approved in NSW doubled in 2017 and another already approved this year, with future capacity to support more than 1,800 jobs and power about half a million homes with sustainable energy.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the state’s planning system gave the green light to 10 projects in 2017, twice the number of projects approved the year before, and has approved NSW’s first solar plant for 2018.
"Once the 10 solar projects are up and running, they will have a combined solar capacity of nearly 1,200 megawatts and collectively reduce carbon emissions by over 2.5 million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking around 800,000 cars off the road," Mr Roberts said.
"The projects are all located in regional NSW and will support around 1,800 construction jobs.
"Sunny Central West NSW proved to be a hotspot in 2017, with six of the 10 proposals coming from the region.
"It may be early in 2018, and yet we’ve already approved another 170MW solar project in the Riverina, known as the Finley Solar Project.
"Our state already benefits from three operating solar farms in Nyngan, Moree and Broken Hill. There are another seven solar projects currently under construction across regional NSW in Parkes, Yoogali, Manildra, Dubbo, Glenn Innes, Goulburn and Forbes.
"The Nyngan Solar Plant in the state’s North-West is the largest operating solar farm in Australia and is visible from outer space."
Minister for Resources and Energy, Don Harwin, added that the popularity of solar power was clear.
"The NSW Government has now approved 22 solar projects in total and we have more renewable generation capacity under construction than any other state, at around 1,000 megawatts," Mr Harwin said.
"These projects will ensure our energy security and with many more in the pipeline, NSW is in a stronger position than other states.
"Balancing energy generation remains very important. We need to harness a diverse range of technologies for energy affordability, reliability and security."
The NSW Government assesses all applications on their merits, under planning legislation and clear official policies to consider any potential benefits or impacts to the environment, the economy and the community.
Solar farm proposals approved by the NSW Government in the last 12 months:
Total solar power capacity: 1,355 Megawatts
08.02.2018 | pdf | 81.5 KB