UPC/AC scopes 400MW solar farm in NSW renewable energy zone | RenewEconomy

UPC/AC scopes 400MW solar farm in NSW renewable energy zone

Stubbo Solar Farm proposed for construction on sheep grazing land 115km east of Dubbo, in an area with “excellent potential” for large-scale solar generation.

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A 400MW solar farm has been proposed for the New South Wales central west tablelands region – the state’s first pilot Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) with an initial target of 3GW of new capacity by the mid-2020s.

The project, which is being proposed by UPC/AC Renewables Australia, was detailed earlier this month in a scoping report that has been submitted to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

UPC/AC Renewables said in the report that the Stubbo Solar Farm was proposed for construction on sheep grazing land 115km east of Dubbo, in an area with “excellent potential” for large-scale solar generation.

It said the huge project – which would also consider adding battery storage – would create “several hundred” jobs during construction while also boosting the regional economy.

It said the particulars of the battery storage technology were still being decided, with specific technology, MW rated capacity and megawatt hours (MWh) to be determined during the detailed design stage.

Options under consideration for capacity were  50MW x 4 hours; 100MW x 2 hours; or 200MW x 1 hour, the company said.

“The sizing of the BESS is also likely to be driven by government policy, given the current focus on mechanisms to ensure reliability and dispatchability of renewable energy power generation,” UPC/AC said.

UPC/AC – a joint venture of UPC and Philippines-based AC Energy – has been busy in Australia, with a development pipeline including the Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain wind farms in Tasmania, and the New England Solar Farm, east of Uralla, NSW.

Another project proposed for NSW is the potentially 800MW Valley of the Winds wind farm, which would sit between the towns of Coolah and Leadville in the Warrumbungle Shire and install 175 turbines on cattle and sheep grazing land.

The Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain projects in Tasmania, which propose to install a combined capacity of between 600-1000MW in the island state’s north-west, have proven controversial for their size and location.

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