NEW ENGLAND SOLAR FARM
UPC Renewables Australia is constructing stage one of a 720 megawatt (MW) solar farm across two separate solar fields near Uralla in the New England region of NSW. Rows of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will be installed on a single axis tracking system that follows the path of the sun, while also allowing adequate space for sheep to continue grazing on the land in-between and underneath the panels.
Once fully constructed, the solar farm will produce around 1,800,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year – enough to power more than 250,000 typical NSW homes. It will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.5million tonnes of C02 each year - equivalent to the taking 330,000 cars off the road.
To read more detailed information about the New England Solar Farm click here.
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New England Solar Farm Site
The New England Solar Farm will be built on a site that spans approximately 2000 hectares of mostly cleared grazing land across two solar fields. An area comprising 4,200 ha was originally identified for investigation by UPC and has been significantly reduced following environmental studies and consultation with local residents.
The area identified for the new England Solar Farm’s southern array has been removed from the existing development application to allow the rest of the project to progress while further discussions with neighbouring land owners take place.
The site is also traversed by an existing 330 kV power line owned and operated by NSW electricity transmission provider TransGrid. This means the solar farm can be efficiently connected to the electricity grid in NSW.
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Environmental Impact Statement
The New England Solar Farm will utilise ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels similar to those used on rooftops around Australia. The PV panels will be arranged in rows spaced several metres apart.
Based on preliminary designs, the project will involve:
Two separate fields of solar PV modules;
New overhead transmission lines and a solar farm substation at each of the three solar fields;
A central substation to connect the project to TransGrid’s electricity transmission network;
Access roads from the local road network and internal access tracks;
Operations and maintenance buildings; and
Stock-proof fencing around each of the solar fields.
A 50MW/1hour BESS will be co-located with the New England Solar Farm. The BESS will be implemented in conjunction with stage one of the solar farm project and was recently selected as a successful applicant for funding under the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy Program.