While Rice might be it’s main farming produce, the small town of Coleambally in the NSW Riverina looks set to become home to the largest Solar Farm in the state as construction begins this month.
The 650 odd residents of Coleambally will be neighbours to the 189 MegaWatt Peak farm when complete.
Construction is now possible after a bunch of financing deals were complete, including through a German Government owned development bank, plus a commitment from Energy Australia to buy 100MW of renewable energy from the farm through a 12-year agreement.
The project will see 565,000 solar panels installed on 550 hectares of land which will connect to TransGrid’s high-voltage network.
Annual generation should be around 390,000 MWh once complete, which is about the consumption of 65,000 or more Aussie homes.
Solar farming isn’t labour intensive lets be honest, but there are seven ongoing jobs being created in the area, with 300 created during construction.
Franck Woitiez, Managing Director of Neoen Australia, said the project is good for the economy, the environment and is already benefitting the local community.
“Our project and finance teams have worked very closely to reach financial close for the Coleambally solar farm in a record time, only a year after Neoen selected the site. We are proud of this achievement and excited to be working together with all our stakeholders, to bring more clean energy to the country”
EnergyAustralia’s Mark Collette was pleased to see the project coming to life; “The Coleambally solar farm is a great example of the projects that will underpin a modern energy system in Australia. We’re proud to be partnering with Neoen to bring it to market, so households continue to receive affordable, reliable and cleaner supplies of power,” Mr Collette said.