One of the world’s largest wind turbine makers has announced plans to add up to 12MW of solar power generation on the site of its jointly owned Gullen Range wind farm in the NSW Southern Tablelands.
The Goulburn Post reported on Wednesday that Chinese giant Goldwind had announced plans to construct the 10-12MW solar plant on the wind farm site 12km south of Crookwell, subject to the federal government final decision on Australia’s renewable energy target.
As we wrote here last November, both big wind and big solar development in Australia have been brought to a virtual stand-still, with prolonged uncertainty over potential changes to the RET, making it all but impossible for developers to secure financing and power generation off-takes.
Goldwind, among other big industry names, has been one of many international renewable energy companies to warn they would quit Australia if the investment environment was not improved.
Still, the company is sticking by plans to lodge a development application for the NSW solar plant with the Upper Lachlan Shire Council by June.
“We see it as a good opportunity to produce more clean energy and capitalise on the infrastructure that’s there. It will use the same grid connection,” said Goldwind senior manager of projects, John Gardner.
But, he added, “the outcome of (RET negotiations) will determine whether it goes into production or not.”
Goldwind already owns the land on which the solar farm is pegged, and Gardner says the company had started talks with surrounding landowners.
According to the Goulburn Post, Gardner would not put a figure on the cost of the project, but said it was below the $30 million mark that triggers state significant developments.
Gardner said the development would generate 100 jobs during construction, with the company advertising locally for subcontractors.