Narrabri South Solar Farm Approved

Narrabri South Solar Farm

Image: Canadian Solar

The NSW Government has been keen to announce its recent large-scale solar approvals. Here’s one it appears to have missed – a 60MW facility near Narrabri.

Canadian Solar’s Narrabri South Solar Farm is to be built on a 190- hectare site on Old Gunnedah Road, around 10 km to the southeast of Narrabri township. The development footprint will occupy approximately 150 hectares.

The project will comprise approximately 200,000 Canadian Solar panels mounted on single-axis trackers, which will enable the modules to track the sun from east to west throughout the day, boosting overall output. 10 inverter stations will be positioned throughout the site. It’s proposed the solar farm will be connected to the mains grid via a 66kV line running along the south side of Old Gunnedah Road.

The company says the facility will be capable of producing enough clean electricity each year to meet the needs of the equivalent of approximately 18,000 homes.

While the PV power plant will occupy agricultural land, some livestock grazing is proposed as part of maintaining the site.

Canadian Solar says Narrabri South will have an estimated capital cost of  $82 million and create total employment of approximately 565 job-years, with employee compensation totaling around $35.1 million. Employment is expected to top out at approximately 112 workers on-site directly involved in the facility’s construction.

The expected life of Narrabri South Solar Farm is 35 years. As well as rehabilitating the land, the company also states it and its contractor will be responsible for the logistics of recycling PV modules used in the project.

Canadian Solar Australia has previously pledged to a recycling program with Australian firm Reclaim PV Recycling for old and damaged solar panels. There hasn’t been much news from Reclaim PV Recycling for some time – and an email to the company some months ago enquiring as to its status went unanswered.

A Month Of Big Solar Announcements For NSW

Other large-scale solar energy project approvals in NSW announced in the last few weeks we’ve covered were:

1,472MW of big solar power projects (capacity a mix of AC and DC) – it’s a great effort, but bear in mind whether all these are built and to the full approved capacity remains to be seen.

What About Small-Scale PV?

While all this large-scale solar energy is for the state is great news, there’s still a bunch of residential and commercial rooftops across New South Wales bereft of solar panels that could be generating clean electricity far closer to the point where it is consumed.

According to the Australian PV Institute (APVI), an estimated 17.8% of dwellings in NSW had solar systems installed as at October 25. APVI’s figures show NSW in fourth place nationally, behind QLD (32.6%), SA (32.1%) and WA (26.1%).

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.

Comments

  1. Ronald Brakels says

    Hot sun is a killer
    On the plains out of Narrabri
    Swingin’ a hoe in a CAL-cotton row
    Sweatin’ on the dangers to me
    Bossman’s Mr. Tucker
    He’s a man I don’t care to defy
    And his only child wicked and wild is seeking my company
    –Ian Moss

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