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Australian state gives Neoen nod for 350MW solar plus storage project

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC)  has granted conditional approval for Neoen’s proposed 350 MW in New South Wales, Australia, to be coupled with battery storage.

The local government announced that the approval for the Culcairn solar park was granted by the independent planning commission of the Australian state. The proposal estimated at AUD 636 million is reported as a government development.

Andrew Hutton and Zada Lipman, the IPC commissioners, said that the Culcairn project is “consistent with the Department’s Riverina Murray Regional Plan 2036, which identifies the development of renewable energy as a growth opportunity for the region.”

The IPC noted that the Culcairn project has an electrical grid connection. The IPC said, “the project would generate enough electricity to power over 131,000 homes, and is therefore consistent with the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework and Net Zero Plan.”

Neoen, the French renewable energy developer and power producer, intends to build a solar complex in the state’s Riverina region comprising up to 1.1 million photovoltaic (PV) panels with single-axis trackers mounted on steel frames. The project also includes a climate-controlled energy storage system that will house battery units totaling 100 MW/200 MWh. The installation will have a total direct current (DC) capacity of 402.5 MW.

Neoen expects construction to last for a period of 18 months. The Solar farm, once operational, is expected to churn out more than 800,000 MWh of electricity per year. The planned installation is expected to create 350 full-time jobs and 1,546 indirect jobs during construction, in addition to other jobs throughout its projected minimum 25-year operational phase. Besides, 60% of its development costs will likely be spent within the Riverina region.

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