22nd March 2017
Australia’s second largest solar farm and the first with technology to track the sun in order to capture maximum power from its energy has opened in NSW.
The 56 megawatt (MW) Moree Solar Farm uses a horizontal single-axis tracking system, which allows solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day to maximise the farm’s energy output.
Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said the opening of the plant highlights the NSW Government’s commitment to the growth of the renewable energy sector.
“Under this Government's watch over the past six years, the share of renewable energy generation in NSW's supply mix has more than doubled,” Mr Harwin said.
“This solar farm will generate enough clean energy to power 15,000 average NSW homes each year, which is a welcome boost for our state’s energy security. The project cements NSW’s national leadership in large-scale solar, with 210 megawatts between Moree, Broken Hill and the state’s largest solar farm in Nyngan.
“Whilst we currently have a surplus of supply, the Government won’t be complacent and wants to see more investment across the state.
“Renewables played an important role during the state’s heatwave on February 10. At the time of peak demand they provided 27% of NSW’s total energy generation.”
The solar farm, by Spanish renewable energy developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, will help deliver more affordable, reliable and clean power, while avoiding around 95,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions - the equivalent produced by approximately 21,000 cars on our roads each year.
The solar farm has provided economic benefits for the area, including some 150 jobs during construction and permanent jobs in operation.
A total of $180 million dollars has been invested in this project including a $101 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and debt financing of $46 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.