White Rock Solar Farm Awarded ARENA Grant
White Rock Solar Farm
8 September 2016
White Rock Solar Farm is one of twelve projects to be awarded a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) large-scale solar competitive funding round.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said “ARENA had been a driving force in bringing down costs and accelerating the commerciality of large-scale solar in Australia and has carried out a multiyear plan to build capacity in Australian supply chains and expertise over successive projects.”
John Titchen, Managing Director at Goldwind Australia, said “Goldwind Australia is very pleased that White Rock Solar has been selected by ARENA through their very competitive and professional selection process. ARENA plays an important role in driving innovation in the renewable energy industry. White Rock Solar is to be located in the New England Tablelands of NSW adjacent to White Rock Wind Farm which is currently under construction and already providing significant local economic benefits. We are work closely with the community and really appreciate community support for these projects. Both projects will contribute to meeting Australia’s renewable energy target.”
White Rock Solar Farm is planned to be a 20 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant located adjacent to the northern end of White Rock Wind Farm, 18 km west of Glen Innes. The development is a pioneering hybrid solar/wind renewable energy facility for the New England Tablelands. It is expected to generate around 46,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in the first year of operation, enough to supply the equivalent of approximately 7,200 average NSW homes. The project is an investment of $45M with $6M expected to come from this grant.
In response to the ARENA large scale solar program, the project was accelerated and the development consent was secured in mid-June 2016. With the award of the ARENA grant, the project can now look towards commencing construction in early 2017 and being fully operational by the end of 2017.
White Rock Solar Farm is designed to benefit from sharing part of the wind farm infrastructure, including the grid connection, access tracks and some internal electrical cabling. The opportunity to share wind farm infrastructure maximises the use of available facilities without requiring construction of additional facilities elsewhere and co-location of the project potentially unlocks over $5 million of savings.