HOMES across the Northern Tablelands will receive a second boost of locally-generated renewable electricity, with a 400,000 panel solar farm soon to be built in the region.
The state government has approval a 100 megawatt Metz Solar Farm, one of the largest in the country, which is slated to begin construction early next year, east of Armidale.
“This is an enormously exciting project, not only for Armidale and the Northern Tablelands, but for all of NSW,” Northern Tablelands MP Mr Marshall said.
“With all stages of state government approval now complete, Infinenergy Pacific are able to get on with the job of building the region’s largest solar farm.
The project is set to be completed next year.
It will power 40,000 homes and produce nearly 10 per cent of the state’s solar energy, making it one of the largest photovoltaic installations in the nation.
“It’s great to see an investment of this scale on our doorstep,” Mr Marshall said,
The project is expected to bringing with it over 150 jobs during the construction phase, and another eight ongoing.
“I’ve sought assurances from Infinenergy Pacific that they’ll be making the most out of local businesses and I’m confident the community will see substantial benefits from this $130 million investment,” Mr Marshall said,
The project will be built 20 kilometres east of Armidale, on a property near the community of Hillgrove.
The location was picked for its regular sun, easy vehicle access and perfect topography for solar panels.
The Metz Solar farm will assist the NSW Government’s Renewable Energy plan to achievie 20 percent renewables by 2020.
It will also keep 225,000 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year compared to coal fired power– which negates 1.125 million kilometres of vehicle travel according to Mr Marshall.
“For the first time in our region’s history we are on the cusp of being a net exporter of energy, reversing the historic trend and building wealth in our communities,” he said.
“We are fast becoming the renewable energy hub of NSW and Australia.”