Advertisement

Solar farm in NSW central west to power 200,000 homes

A solar farm in the NSW central west is expected to power 200,000 homes in the state.

Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek on Friday announced the federal government had approved the Sandy Creek Solar Farm, which was set to be built about 25km southwest of Dunedoo.

The project would include an 840MW solar farm and battery energy storage system, and represented another big step in the government's plan to make Australia a renewable energy "superpower", Ms Plibersek said.

"It's a huge task – we're working overtime to get there," she said.

"I've now ticked off 45 renewable energy projects with another 128 in the approvals pipeline.

"This is an exciting time. As well as lower emissions, it means cheaper, cleaner power for all Australians."

The solar farm in the NSW central west was expected to save up to about 1,400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, Ms Plibersek said.

That equated to taking 440,000 cars off Australia's roads for a year.

The Sandy Creek project would create up to 600 jobs during construction and 10 ongoing jobs once it was built, Ms Plibersek said.

The federal government gave the green light for the solar farm after it was assessed under national environment law.

A Clean Energy Australia 2024 report released last week revealed Australia's clean energy revolution remained off track as red tape, rising costs and connection constraints got in the way of more rapid development.

New financial commitments to build utility scale generation fell to $1.5 billion in 2023, significantly lower than $6.5 billion a year earlier.

Slow planning and environmental approvals, policy uncertainty and tighter markets for equipment and labour made it a "more complex and challenging landscape" for investors, the report said.

However, Australia continued its run as a world leader per capita for household solar as millions of panels keep doing the heavy lifting - and cutting power bills.