A new solar farm project has been approved by the NSW Government in Wagga Wagga and will be built at a cost of $164 million. The construction of the 100-megawatt (MW) solar farm is expected to boost the local economy and support more than 200 jobs over the coming year.

Once operational, the solar farm will be able to power over 30,000 homes in Wagga Wagga.

The approval was preceded by a complete assessment of the project based on its merits with due consideration given to potential benefits or impacts to the environment, the economy and the community.

There were nine objections to the proposal from local community members with concerns regarding the visual impact and land use compatibility. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment also considered a 2016 decision by the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), which granted development consent for a 22MW solar project over a portion of the Bomen Solar Project site. The approval was given based on the land’s industrial zoning that minimised environmental impacts.

The Department of Planning and Environment’s Resource Assessment director Clay Preshaw said that the new solar project will increase electricity capacity, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs for local communities.

“Solar energy is a key part of NSW’s energy mix and will become even more important into the future,” he added.