100MW solar farm proposed for New England region

A 100MW solar farm proposed for northern New South Wales would power more than half of the New England region.

The Metz Solar Farm, to be located in Hillgrove, 30km east of Armidale, would provide enough energy to power 40,000 of the 66,000 households in the region.

The Infinergy Pacific project would create up to 150 jobs in the construction phase, and 12 full-time jobs once in operation.

The company is in the process of developing a planning application, and has recently held information sessions for the surrounding communities of Armidale and Hillgrove.

Project director Jane Ross told ABC it was important to have the community on board.

“I think it’s central to any development like this because it’s a new technology,” Ms Ross said.

“I think it’s really important that we make sure they understand the technology and they understand the benefits that might flow from the project.”

The project’s Environmental Impact Assessment will be submitted to the New South Wales Government this month.

Construction is expected to commence in Spring 2018, to be completed by early 2019.

There are almost $2 billion worth of proposed renewable energy projects for New England, including a $170m solar farm at Narrabri, a $101m windfarm at Woolbrook and a $1.2b wind farm on the edge of the Liverpool Plains.