A $119 million solar farm project has been approved for Mulwala, near Albury.

The 140-megawatt (MW) solar project will be located just outside of Mulwala, adding to the growing hub of solar energy projects established in the Riverina area.

Resource and energy assessments director, Clay Preshaw, says the multi-million-dollar solar farm will power more than 52,000 homes, boost the economies for local communities, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“The short-term benefits would be an increased workforce of about 130 construction jobs during building and on-going maintenance jobs afterwards,” he says.

There were only two public objections to this proposal, according to the Department of Environment and Planning. One local community member raised concerns regarding land use compatibility, while one special interest group commented on the visual impacts as well as land use compatibility.

The project approval has followed the release of a new Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline developed by the Department and designed to lead applicants and the community through the assessment process for state significant solar farm proposals.

“The NSW Large Scale Solar Guideline aims to provide clear and consistent guidance to the community, applicants, industry and regulators on the environmental and social impacts of state significant solar energy projects, encouraging early and continued consultation, and suitable site selection," says Preshaw.

“The new guideline reflects the NSW Government’s strong commitment to NSW’S booming solar energy market.

“To date, the NSW Government and independent regional planning panels have approved a total of 51 large scale solar projects across the state."


Image credit: Destination NSW