• NSW Department of Planning and Environment in Australia has approved 3 solar power projects with 492 MW cumulative capacity within 2 days in December 2018
  • As per the approval, Edify Energy’s 275 MW Darlington Point Solar Farm will be developed for an investment of AU$407 million ($291.6 million)
  • Suntop Solar Farm with 170 MW capacity will be developed by Photon Energy and Canadian Solar
  • Hanwha Energy’s 47 MW Gregadoo Solar farm will be development under the project management of Green Switch Australia

The state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has green signalled 3 large-scale solar PV projects within  2 days in December. All three together represent 492 MW of total solar power capacity. It takes utility scale solar power projects approved across the state to 50 till date.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment gave a go ahead to a 275 MW solar project worth AU$407 million ($291.6 million), to come up 10 km south of Darlington Point near Griffith on December 12, 2018. It has been proposed by Australian renewable energy developer Edify Energy which may consider using battery storage technology at a later date for the project.

“This is a multi-million project that will power over 130,000 homes each year, boost the local economy, provide up to 300 jobs during and after construction, as well as increasing electricity capacity and helping to cut greenhouse emissions,” said the Department’s Resource Assessments Director, Clay Preshaw.

Another project approval announced on December 12, 2018 was the AU$262 million ($187.7 million) Suntop Solar Farm in the state’s central west with 170 MW capacity. It will be developed by the Australian subsidiary of Netherlands based Photon Energy NV, Photon Energy Australia Pty Ltd., along with Canadian Solar. The two will co-develop 5 utility scale solar power projects with 1.14 GW in New South Wales. Suntop is one of these. Photon Energy says on its website that Suntop will have a capacity of 286 MW.

On December 14, 2018, the department gave its seal of approval to a 47 MW solar farm in Gregadoo, Wagga Wagga. The AU$61 million ($43.7 million) project will be developed by Hanwha Energy Corp’s Gregadoo Solar Farm Pty Ltd.; the project manager is Green Switch Australia.

According to Australia’s Clean Energy Council, more than 9 GW of large-scale solar power capacity was either under construction or due to start soon in Australia in early December. Of this, 3.5 GW is coming up in New South Wales, representing an investment of AU$4.3 billion ($3.1 billion) (see $20Bn RE Investment In Australia).