Central West to become solar hotspot - NSW Nationals

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Central West to become solar hotspot

The Central West is set to become a hot spot for solar energy with six of the ten new solar projects approved last year to be located in the Central West.

Regional Australia is continuing to lead in the renewable sector, providing clean energy to the grid and gaining thousands of construction jobs in the process.

Solar panels are blooming around country Australia, a crop which is harvesting thousands of megawatts of clean power. In the last 12 months, solar operations have been approved in Balranald, Coleambally, Dubbo, Hillston, Armidale, Gilgandra, Walgett, Gulgong, Hay and Finley.

These solar farms will add an additional 1,355 megawatts of entirely clean energy to NSW power source, reducing carbon emissions by 2.5 million tonnes – the equivalent of taking 800,000 cars off the road.

These new solar farms add to those already operational in Nyngan, Broken Hill and Moree – currently Australia’s second largest and the first utility-scale sun-tracking farm – as well as seven solar farms currently under construction in Parkes, Yoogali, Manildra, Dubbo, Glenn Innes, Goulburn and Forbes.

The farms generate thousands of jobs in construction, and provide ongoing employment, often in smaller towns without manufacturing employment opportunities.

NSW has approved more solar projects than any other State, with 22 solar farms operational within the next few years helping move the State toward clean energy security.

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NSW Nationals Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall – whose electorate already boasts a 100 megawatt farm being developed outside Armidale and a 2 million panel farm approved at Glenn Innes – pointed out that these solar developments have the capacity to generate equivalent power to coal stations.

“Renewable developments across our region, for example, are approaching the peak capacity of the Liddell power station – producing zero emissions, diversifying our power mix and helping our state meet its national and international obligations,” he said.

Solar developments are expected to generate hundreds of full time jobs across regional NSW within the next few years, with that number only set to grow as the renewable sector continues to grow.

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