Benefits of New England Solar Farm
The New England Solar Farm and Battery will create a number of benefits for the local community and wider New South Wales area. the following are guys some of the value that New England Solar farm will create:
Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The solar farm will produce enough clean renewable energy to power up to 250,000 homes without producing any greenhouse gas emissions. It will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing electricity generation by up to 1.5 million tonnes of C02 each year – the equivalent to taking 330,000 cars off the road.
Helping to keep downward pressure on power prices in NSW.
Developing New England Solar Farm will help produce more low cost renewable energy into the NSW grid that will help keep power prices lower than otherwise would be the case.
New England Solar Farm will help replace retiring coal fired generators and the Battery storage will also supply form power into the grid.
Work opportunities for local workers, businesses and suppliers.
The activity through building and then operating the wind farm will support local jobs and local businesses.
It is expected jobs would be in the area of civil works (fencing installation, internal access road construction and other site preparation works), PV module installation, electrical works (assembly of electrical equipment, low, medium and high voltage electrical services), and site office establishment.
There would also be a number of sub-contracting opportunities for local tradespeople such as electricians and plumbers, fencing and maintenance, vegetation control as well as the generation of indirect jobs in areas such as catering and short-term accommodation providers.
Wherever possible, local residents and businesses will be prioritised for jobs, contracting and procurement of materials for the solar farm, so that benefits to the local economy and community can be maximised.
Agricultural production to continue on site.
Much of the existing site is currently used for sheep grazing. UPC expectations are that grazing sheep underneath and around the solar panels once they are installed will be possible.
Studies from the USA, as well as evidence from three solar farm sites in Australia demonstrates that grass continues to grow underneath solar panels on solar farm sites.
Sharing value with the community.
A Community Benefit Sharing Initiative has been established to help share some of the revenue generated from the solar farm with the community.
The New England Solar Farm will fund the program by providing $250 a year for every megawatt of power generating capacity installed at the solar farm over its 25-year working life. The contribution will start at $100,000 at the commencement of construction, expected to occur in the coming months.
UPC\AC recently made a decision to double the starting amount from $50,000 to $100,000 from year one to help provide more support to the local community during the construction of the project.
Moire information on this initiate can be found at Uralla Grants program.
The New England Solar Farm will utilise ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels similar to those used on rooftops around Australia. The PV panels will be arranged in rows spaced several metres apart.
Based on preliminary designs, the project will involve:
Two separate fields of solar PV modules;
New overhead transmission lines and a solar farm substation at each of the three solar fields;
A central substation to connect the project to TransGrid’s electricity transmission network;
Access roads from the local road network and internal access tracks;
Operations and maintenance buildings; and
Stock-proof fencing around each of the solar fields.
A 50MW/1hour BESS will be co-located with the New England Solar Farm. The BESS will be implemented in conjunction with stage one of the solar farm project and was recently selected as a successful applicant for funding under the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy Program.