Sunraysia Solar Farm Gets Green Light

Sunraysia Solar Farm

Sunraysia Solar Farm – Balranald, New South Wales – Maoneng Australia

A 200MW solar farm proposed for near Balranald in New South Wales received state government approval last week.

In terms of capacity, Sunraysia Solar Farm will be nearly twice as large as Australia’s biggest currently operating solar farm (Nyngan). Once complete, the power station could take the title as the largest solar farm in the southern hemisphere.

“Sunny Balranald is an ideal location for solar projects and has spare capacity on its electricity network,” said NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Don Harwin. “It may even become home to two of the largest solar farms in the country, if a proposal for Limondale Solar Farm is approved, with further capacity for 240 megawatts of energy.”

The Sunraysia project is expected to create 250 construction jobs, and once operating will generate enough electricity to supply 76,000 households. There will be ongoing employment for a small team of workers who will provide maintenance services after the solar farm is built.

Balranald Shire covers an area of 21,346 square kilometres and has a population of 2,361 – so the project will provide a welcome boost to the community.

The Sunraysia Solar Farm site comprises around 1000 hectares of private freehold land located approximately 17 kilometres south of Balranald town centre and 140km south east of Mildura.

Sunraysia Solar Project Site Map

Sunraysia Solar Farm Site Map

The developer of the project is Maoneng Australia. Sunraysia won’t be Maoneng’s first rodeo in Australia – it was the company behind the Mugga Lane Solar Park in the ACT; a 13 MW solar PV facility consisting of 53,000 solar panels. Officially opened in March this year, Mugga Lane is expected to generate 24,500MWh of clean energy in its first twelve months of operations.

The company says its development pipeline consists of approximately 2000 MW of utility and industrial scale solar energy projects, including Sunraysia, across the Asia Pacific region.

Earlier this year, Maoneng Group Executive Chairman Morris Zhou said he anticipated commencement of construction of Sunraysia Solar Farm in the final quarter of this year.

Minister Harwin said New South Wales has “outdone itself in large-scale solar”, with operational solar plants cranking clean electricity in Nyngan (102 MW), Moree (56 MW) and Broken Hill (53 MW).

“Strengthening the state’s energy security, and developing economic opportunities and boosting jobs in our regions are priorities for this government,” he said. ” When we make this happen through renewable energy projects it’s a win-win for NSW.”

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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