Green Light For 400MW Solar, 200MWh Battery Facility In NSW

Stubbo Solar Farm

A huge solar power and battery storage facility for New South Wales’ Mid-Western Regional Council area has been given the State Government’s blessing.

We last mentioned UPC/AC Renewables Australia’s1 proposed Stubbo Solar Farm project in April last year after a scoping report had been submitted.

Stubbo Solar Farm will be located about 10 kilometres north of Gulgong (and around 115 kilometres east of Dubbo) on a 1,250-hectare site that is currently grazing land2. This is a really big project – 400MW of solar power capacity and a 200 MW/200 MWh battery storage system.

It’s expected the clean power station will generate enough to supply the equivalent electricity consumption of around 150,000 New South Wales households. The battery storage aspect will dispatch energy when it is most needed during peak hours, plus provide grid stability services.

Big Solar Bringing Big Benefits For Local Community

An employment bonanza will be created during the construction phase of the $418 million project, with 400 jobs generated. The facility will support 10 ongoing jobs while operational and there will also be an ongoing community benefit program.

According to the NSW Government’s assessment report, the community benefits package includes an initial payment of $100,000 to Council over the construction period, as well as an annual payment in the order of $120,000 per year in contributions to Council for community enhancement projects – a nice little earner for the local community given the facility will be operating for decades.

UPC/AC Renewables Australia is no doubt keen to get cracking on making a start, but it’s still a little way off.

“We hope to begin construction by early to mid-2022, subject to finalisation of our final contracts and securing finance,” said the company’s Head of Solar Development, Killian Wentrup. “We want to thank the local community for its ongoing feedback, which helped us make changes to the project proposal and to reduce some of the potential impacts.”

It appears UPC/AC Renewables were pretty switched on concerning community engagement, which is very important in order to get projects over the line – or at least more rapidly.

The site was considered suitable for such a development as it has good solar resources and there’s also available capacity on the existing electricity network. Existing adjacent transmission lines will provide the option of direct grid connection without significant new overhead lines and easements required.

The location of Stubbo Solar Farm is within the NSW Government’s Central West- Orana Renewable Energy Zone, an area earmarked for coordinated development of new grid infrastructure to support renewables-based electricity generation facilities.

It’s interesting this approval managed to mostly fly under the media radar given it’s such a significant project. According to the NSW Government’s Major Projects site, the determination was made on the 29th of June, but UPC/AC Renewables Australia only announced their success in gaining approval on Wednesday.

Footnotes

  1. A joint venture between UPC Renewables Group and AC Energy
  2. UPC/AC is consulting with landowners regarding ongoing farming operations, particularly grazing, once the solar farm is operational
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. LEONARD BACHMAN says

    Impressive project I look forward to hearing more about. Is the area under the collectors planned for any productive use as in Agrivolt thinking?

  2. Michael J Keaney says

    I’m a big supporter of renewable energy, but sadly this just appears to be more of the same….

    400MW of solar capacity, coupled with basically sweet “fa” of associated storage.

    So mostly more solar output being dispatched when the market least needs it, with a small to modest amount of storage.

    If this project was 400MW of solar output coupled with say 2000MW/H of storage, ie enough to store a whole day’s worth of generation on a good day, with the ability to dispatch the whole day’s worth or power generated to the market when it needs it, then I would be really excited. But then the cost would not be $418M, I guess at $500 per kw/h for storage it would be more like $1.418B, which I would assume would make it completely uneconomical.

    In our headlong rush to embrace renewables, we seem to continually overlook the elephant in the room – STORAGE, STORAGE, STORAGE (and the associated costs), and this project seems to be just another example.

    Sorry to be the perenial naysayer, but the storage issue needs to be addressed

    Comments welcome

  3. Norbert Reni says

    I’m curious. Does anybody know if a piece of ground covered by a raised panel produces the same flora/cover as soil that isn’t decked?

Speak Your Mind

Please keep the SolarQuotes blog constructive and useful with these 4 rules:

1. Real names are preferred - you should be happy to put your name to your comments.
2. Put down your weapons.
3. Assume positive intention.
4. If you are in the solar industry - try to get to the truth, not the sale.
5. Please stay on topic.

GET THE SOLARQUOTES WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
%d bloggers like this: