The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has given the green light for construction on a new $117 million solar project at the site of the Vales Point Power Station, approximately 35 kilometres south of Newcastle.
This project is set to become one of Australia’s large-scale solar farms that will coexist with a coal-fired power station.
“This innovative project is one of the first in Australia where large-scale renewable and coal-fired energy facilities sit side by side.
“The Vales Point solar farm is close to the existing grid connection as well as being within an existing land-use zoned for power generation,” Resource assessments director Clay Preshaw said.
Project site (source: Delta Electricity)
Delta Electricity will be developing this 55MW solar farm and it is going to be built on an 80 hectare rehabilitated ash dam area that forms part of the Vales Point Power Station. The solar farm is will comprise of about 220,000 solar panels and will be able to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 20,000 homes.
The Vales Point solar farm is projected to have a lifespan of approximately 25 years and it is designed to bridge the shortfall from the closure of coal-fired power stations.
“Delta recognises that both dispatchable power and low emission technologies have a role to play in supporting an affordable, reliable and sustainable national electricity grid,” Delta Electricity Company Secretary Steve Gurney said.
Work on the solar farm is expected to commence in 2019, with an 18-month construction period. This large-scale solar project is also expected to support up to 100 construction jobs as well as 5 full-time operational jobs.
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