White Rock Solar Farm celebrates the start of construction

White Rock Solar Farm

10 July 2017

Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Member for New England, today joined John Titchen, Managing Director of Goldwind Australia, local Mayor of Glen Innes Severn Council and Acting Mayor of Inverell Council at a Ground-Breaking Ceremony to mark the commencement of construction at the $41.4 million White Rock Solar Farm project.

“This ceremony marks the start of construction of the solar farm to be to be co-located with White Rock Wind Farm in New England Tablelands. The award of a large-scale solar competitive grant by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has allowed the White Rock Solar Farm to proceed to construction.” John Titchen, Managing Director of Goldwind Australia said today.

Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Barnaby Joyce said he was looking forward to the project completion targeted for early 2018.

‘It is positive news for the New England Electorate that the White Rock Solar Farm project construction is now commencing. This was made possible following the Federal Government’s $5.4 million funding commitment from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) towards the project in September last year.’ Mr Joyce said.

The Federal Coalition Government supports renewables and has a legislated and efficient renewable energy target, so supporting projects like the White Rock Solar Farm show that the Federal Government is serious about supporting renewable energy production to help secure the national grid.

‘With other projects like the Sapphire Wind Farm going ahead, it also shows that the New England is leading the way in renewable energy production and I will continue to advocate for the region as a growing power supplier for Australia.’ Said Mr Joyce.

White Rock Solar Farm will be a 20 MW AC 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 solar wind hybrid renewable energy facility.

It is expected to generate around 44,000 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 designed to benefit significantly from sharing part of the wind farm infrastructure, including the grid connection and access tracks.

Alongside the wind farm project, White Rock Solar Farm represents a significant economic investment for the region. Up to 75 people are expected to be on site at construction peaks and three people as ongoing operational and maintenance staff.

White Rock Solar is Goldwind’s second wind-solar hybrid project following the 10MW Gullen Solar project which is now at an advanced stage of construction.