Solar project approved for NSW coal station

coal
Vales Point Power Station, Image: Webaware

Planning approval has been granted that will see one of the first large-scale solar and power facilities in Australia co-existing with a coal station.

The New South Wales Department of Planning has approved a $117 million solar project for Vales Point power station, which attracted broad community and political support when it was placed on public exhibition earlier this year, according to The Herald.

Resource assessments director at the New South Wales Department of Planning Clay Preshaw said large-scale energy proposals like this are considered very carefully and the department engages with the community throughout the process.

“We assess each of the projects on their merits, and we take what’s called a triple bottom line assessment, which is considering the environmental factors, the economic factors, and the social factors,” he said.

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“Solar farms contribute a significant amount of energy into the grid and can contribute to energy security.

“They can also create a lot of jobs in the local community, which is why we always make sure we exhibit the proposals and try to get the community’s feedback on each of the projects.

“This innovative project is one of the first in Australia where large-scale renewable and coal-fired energy facilities sit side by side.

“The Vales Point solar farm is close to the existing grid connection as well as being within an existing land-use zoned for power generation.”

Work will begin next year on the 55MW facility that will be built on an 80-hectare area of rehabilitated ash dam and is expected to support 100 construction jobs over an 18-month period.

Delta Electricity Company is on board to work on the project, which will bring Delta’s renewable energy portfolio to 300MW hours.

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