Go-Ahead Given For Maryvale Solar Farm

Maryvale Solar Farm

Image: Photon Energy

A $188 million solar energy project at Maryvale, near Wellington in New South Wales has been approved by the state’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

The 160MW(dc)/125MW(ac) Maryvale Solar Farm will cover an area of 375 hectares and be comprised of up to 450,000 solar panels installed on a single axis tracking systems. With Canadian Solar having acquired a 51% shareholding in the Photon Energy development, there’s no prizes for guessing what brand of solar panels will be used.

The facility will generate enough energy to supply the electricity needs of the equivalent of approximately 46,500 homes, while avoiding 265,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

To be constructed over a 12-month period, the Maryvale Solar Farm project is expected to support up to 150 local construction jobs. The facility will be operational for approximately 25 years, after which it would either be decommissioned and the site restored to its existing land capability, or infrastructure upgraded and continuing on.

In addition to electricity generation, grazing will continue on the site during the project’s lifecycle.

“Maryvale solar farm is within the Central-West Renewable Energy Zone and will add to the growing hub of solar energy projects in the Dubbo area, bringing a fresh boost to the economy, diversifying industry for the region, as well as increasing electricity capacity,” said DPIE’s Executive Director of Energy and Resource Assessments Mike Young.

According to the New South Wales Government, the Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in the Central-West region could host 3,000 megawatts of new generation by the mid-2020’s and be worth around $4.4 billion in private sector investment once fully developed.

The approval decision for Maryvale was made at the State Government level rather than at a council level as the project is considered a State Significant Development (SSD). Mr. Young said the Department considered all potential impacts of the project and is confident it will have real benefits for the local community and the state.

Wellington Solar Farm Construction Commences

In other large-scale solar news from the region, Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited yesterday announced the commencement of construction of the 200 MW(dc) Wellington Solar Farm, also situated north-east of the town of Wellington.

The clean power station, which is being developed by Lightsource BP, is expected to be commissioned by December 2020. Sterling and Wilson say the plant will produce enough solar energy to power the equivalent of 70,000 homes, and avoid 336,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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