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NSW set to benefit from large scale solar investment boom

A solar investment boom means two multi-million dollar solar plants in the NSW area of Mayrung could begin construction as early as next year.

The plants' cost has not been made public but it is estimated by the Shepparton News to be over the $180 million proposed for the Deniliquin ethanol plant in the area.

The company that is spearheading the proposal RES Australia is currently seeking Government approval until they can move forward with the project.

The plant would connect to the TransGrid 132kV, a high voltage transmission network that runs through the area.

Solar Investment: Two separate power sites

One of the projects 'Currawarra', is located 25km north east of Deniliquin and will use half a million solar panels and will generate up to 175 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy. To put this in context the largest operational solar farm in NSW generates just over 100MW.

The second project – 'Tarleigh Park' – is located 23km south east of Deniliquin and will generate up to 90MW using 250,000 solar panels.

Both these developments would use ground mounted solar panels with associated access tracks, substation, operation and maintenance building, overhead and underground electrical reticulation and fencing.

The impact of the plants

Speaking to the Shepparton News RES project manager Mike Whitbread saying,
"Environmental impact assessments have been commissioned with local expert consultants who are carefully assessing the impact of the solar farms. These studies include heritage, noise, visual impact, transport and ecology and will inform the planning application,"

"If all the studies go well and the site is permitted, we're hoping to start construction sometime in 2018. We expect 'Currawarra' to take about 18 months to build and 'Tarleigh Park' about nine to 12 months."

It is expected that three full time workers would need to be employed to monitor the installations and this solar investment would provide a boost to local businesses and the economy in the area.

The power can be used by large business and other large scale operations but is not available for individual residential use.

Source: Energy Matters

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