Wellington is set to boast one of the country’s biggest solar farms following the approval of a 174-megawatt development.
The $270 million project, proposed by First Solar Australia, will strengthen Wellington’s reputation as one of Australia’s leading solar energy producers.
The project received the tick of approval by the NSW Department of Planning on May 25 and is scheduled to start construction in the third quarter of 2018.
The large-scale solar farm will be located on a 559 hectare site near the Mitchell Highway around two kilometres north-east of Wellington.
Approximately 440,000 photovoltaic (PV) modules are estimated to power the 174 megawatt project which will produce enough solar energy to serve the needs of around 46,000 average NSW homes.
A spokesperson for First Solar said this will displace more than 305,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year – the equivalent of taking around 81,000 cars off the road.
The Wellington Solar Farm will produce significant economic benefits including approximately 200 construction jobs during peak construction, as well as indirect supply chain jobs and up to three full-time roles during the operation and maintenance phase.
A spokesperson said the project will benefit directly from existing local solar supply chains and operations and maintenance hubs, and will provide significant economic benefits to the region through the creation of direct and indirect jobs, supporting small business and developing skills in the growing industry.
“While the appointed EPC will manage contracts, First Solar has a proven track record of hiring local, qualified labour for plant construction and long-term positions for the maintenance and monitoring of daily operations, and will work with the EPC to ensure local opportunities are provided,” the spokesperson said.
The project is scheduled for completion mid to late 2019.
“Thanks to the local community, the broader region and our project stakeholders for your ongoing support,” the spokesperson said.
“The project will provide clean energy to the state and further establish regional NSW as a leader in renewable energy – diversifying the state’s energy portfolio. It also supports Australia in its efforts toward providing 23.5 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.”
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