A 300MW solar farm is being proposed near the New South Wales town of Armidale, in what would be the largest project of its type in Australia.
The project, proposed by Infinergy, although in its early stages of development, adds to the growing number of large-scale solar projects in the state, which is home to the Nyngan, Broken Hill and Moree solar farms, and another five projects from 20MW to 50MW that will be built under the ARENA large-scale solar program.
It would also reinforce the New England electorate of deputy prime minister and renewable energy critic Barnaby Joyce as one of the major renewable energy centres in the country, given that it is also the home of the White Rock wind and solar farms and the Sapphire wind project.
The project was revealed by NSW parliamentary secretary for renewable energy, Adam Marshall, who also revealed he is pushing to significantly reduce application fees for such projects in the state.
Marshall said application fees for such projects in NSW were around $215,000, but in other states it was $14,000 (in Victoria) and close to $10,000 (in Queensland).
“What sort of message does that send?” he said in a speech to the North Coast Energy Forum in Coffs Harbour. “We want NSW to be the renewable energy capital of Australia” so reducing such fees would need to happen if it was to succeed.