53MW Broken Hill solar plant receives planning approval

A 53MW solar power plant planned for Broken Hill in NSW has been given the final go-ahead by the state’s department of planning and environment, after approving the Construction Environmental Management Plans for the project.

The ARENA-backed solar PV plant, to be built by First Solar on behalf of AGL Energy, is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Partly funded by via the former Labor government’s now defunct Solar Flagships program, the plant is being built as part of a broader project that includes a 103MW solar plant in Nyngan, also in the west of New South Wales.

The same region has attracted numerous other solar power proposals, including a series of plants totalling 115MW around five key regional centres.

AGL’s project manager for the Broken Hill Solar Plant, Adam Mackett, says the company can now move on from site establishment and accessing road works to the actual construction phase of the project.

AGL says it will be discussing the next stage of construction at the fourth Broken Hill Solar Plant community information session on Wednesday, November 5 at the Broken Hill Centre for Community.

“We remain committed to continuing to hold regular community information sessions to help ensure the local community is kept informed about the project and also has the opportunity to meet the project team face-to-face to ask any questions they may have,” Mackett said in a statement.

The company says it has also established a community fund, and community groups can apply for funds to support a range of local projects, with $25,000 on offer in the first round.

The finished solar plant will consist of over 650,000 solar PV modules, covering an area of approximately 140 hectares.

Top image: Proposed site for AGL’s Nyngan Solar Farm (via AGL)

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson