NSW approves West Wyalong solar and battery storage project

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NSW government approves 90MW solar farm and a big battery near West Wyalong that it says will help in transition away from coal and gas.

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The New South Wales government says it has given planning approval to a new 90MW solar facility in West Wyalong that will also likely to feature battery storage.

The $135 million project has been proposed by Lightsource BP – which also recently secured finance for a 200MW solar farm at Wellington, also in NSW.

The NSW government, which recently said that “firmed renewables” – wind and solar backed up by some form of dispatchable source, including storage” was clearly the cheapest form of new generation, an important point as the state seeks to replace most of its ageing coal generators over the next 10-15 years.

The approval for this project echoes this, noting that it will be accompanies by a battery which could be sized at 50MW/90MWh, which with the solar plant will “assist in transitioning the electricity sector from coal and gas fired power stations to renewable energy.”

The head of energy and resource assessments Mike Young said in a statement that the West Wyalong solar farm will add to the growing hub of solar energy projects in the Riverina, bringing a fresh boost to the economy and diversifying industry in the region.

“Since 2017 the Government has approved a total 30 solar projects across the State, these have the potential to provide nearly 5,000 construction jobs in the regions and support around $5.8 billion of investment in regional NSW,” he said.

“These solar projects have already contributed to the economies of communities throughout the Riverina and are also supporting the creation of a thriving renewable energy industry in NSW.”

Young said the battery storage facility will store solar energy for dispatch into the grid outside of daylight hours and during periods of peak demand, improving stability and reliability across the network.

The “state significant” project has been assessed in line with the Government’s large-scale solar guidelines, introduced last year to ensure clear and consistent guidance to the community and industry.

The project has been approved with strict conditions to ensure the local community and environment are protected, including conditions relating to traffic on local roads, managing construction activities on the site and landscaping to minimise any visual impacts.

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