A new Riverina solar farm in the southwestern New South Wales rural region has been approved by the NSW government. Along with the capacity to generate electicity, there is also 25 MW of battery storage.
The $130 million, 100 MW West Wyalong Solar Farm will create around 150 jobs during construction. On completion, it will supply renewable energy to up to 37,500 homes in the area.
The Berejiklian State Government says the project will also save 212 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This equals a significant reduction in the energy sector.
Riverina solar: NSW supports solar, reduces emissions
The state government has approved 26 solar projects across the state over the last two years, creating 4,500 construction jobs.
NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean says the Wyalong solar farm will boost the local economy in the Riverina region. It will also help the state meets its target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Large-scale solar installations booming in Australia
Last year saw a big increase in large-scale and commercial solar projects in Australia, such as the Riverina solar farm. In fact, July saw the biggest rise in large-scale solar accreditation since the Renewable Energy Target (RET) kicked off in 2001.
Also in July, Environment Victoria claimed Victoria’s large-scale renewable pipeline could supply the state’s households for a year.
In the sunny north, Queensland now has the biggest uptake of both small-scale (rooftop solar panels) and utility-scale solar in the country.
As a result, some 1,749 MW or 19 per cent of the state’s energy comes from solar energy. Large-scale solar makes up 740 MW of this amount.
Australia’s solar capacity even stretches to the ends of the earth. In March this year, the first Australian solar farm in Antarctica switched on at the remote Casey station. It features 105 solar panels – among the largest in Antarctica.
Re-elected NSW government backs solar rebates, EVs
Gladys Berejiklian’s Coalition Government was re-elected in the March 23 NSW state election this year.
The government had pledged no-interest loans to help up to 300,000 households install solar panel and battery storage if re-elected.
It also promised to provide fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) along with trial electric bus services and more EVs and hybrids in government fleets.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian is now rolling out a 10-year Empowering Homes program. This amounts to a renewables investment of $3.2 billion.
In fact, more than 400,000 households and small businesses in NSW already have solar installed. The 10-year plan will add around 300,000 households over the decade.