March 10, 2020 Read More →

Australia’s New South Wales approves massive solar-plus-storage project

Renew Economy:

Plans to build a massive 720MW solar farm with up to 400MWh of battery storage in New South Wales’ New England region have received the final green light from the state’s Independent Planning Commission.

The IPC said on Tuesday that it had approved the $768 million UPC/AC Renewables project, with some conditions, having been asked to review the state significant development (SSD) application after 67 public objections were received during exhibition.

The IPC said the objections to the huge project – which will span 3362 hectares of agricultural land, just east of Uralla – centred on compatibility of the proposed land use, visual amenity, transport and traffic management, and decommissioning and rehabilitation. But it said that after “careful consideration” of all of the evidence, it had concluded the proposed solar farm was in the public interest and determined to approve the application, subject to conditions.

In its Statement of Reasons for Decision, the Commission agreed with the Department’s assessment that the land selected for the development “could be easily returned to agricultural land following decommissioning” with no detrimental effect on its inherent agricultural capability.

In its own statement, UPC/AC Renewables said the Commission’s approval was an important milestone for the project, on which construction was likely now to begin within the next few months.

The project is expected to create up to 700 full time jobs during construction – which will be done in two stages and over the course of around three years – and once completed, to generate enough renewable energy to power 250,000 homes.

[Sophie Vorrath]

More: Massive 720MW New England solar farm gets final green light

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