White Rock Solar Farm fully funded after $5.4 million Federal Government funding;
Expected to generate 44,000 megawatt hours of electricity in the first year of operation;
Development is a pioneering hybrid solar/wind renewable generation energy facility
The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, says the future is bright for the Goldwind White Rock Solar Farm at Glen Innes after it received full funding, or financial close, to proceed.
The Federal Coalition Government committed $5.4 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for Goldwind Australia’s White Rock Solar Farm proposal.
Mr Joyce said he was looking forward to construction of the project beginning in July and completing in early 2018.
“It is positive news for the New England Electorate that the White Rock Solar Farm project is moving ahead following the Federal Government’s funding commitment from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) towards the project in September last year,” Mr Joyce said.
“Renewable energy is an important part of the national energy mix and the Federal Coalition Government supports renewables and has a legislated and efficient renewable energy target.
“Projects like the White Rock Solar Farm show that the Federal Government is serious about supporting renewable energy production to help secure the national grid.
“With other projects like the Sapphire Wind Farm going ahead, it also shows that the New England is leading the way in renewable energy production and I will continue to advocate for the region as a growing power supplier for Australia.”
Mr Joyce said the $41.4 million White Rock Solar Farm is planned to be a 20 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant located adjacent to the northern end of White Rock Wind Farm, 18 km west of Glen Innes.
The main engineering, procurement and construction contract has been awarded to UGL. The project expects to employ up to 75 people on site at its construction peak and three people as ongoing operational and maintenance staff.
Mr Joyce said the project operators have committed to a Local Business Participation Program as a key initiative to identify capacity in the local community and maximise opportunities for local suppliers to participate in the project.
The development is a pioneering hybrid solar/wind renewable energy facility for the New England Tablelands. It is expected to generate around 44,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in the first year of operation, enough to supply the equivalent of approximately 7,200 average NSW homes.