Friday, 23 June 2017
SUNRAYSIA SOLAR FARM – DEVELOPMENT CONSENT
New South Wales – On 20th June 2017, the Sunraysia Solar Farm [“SSF”] was approved under Part 4 of the Environmental and Planning and Assessment Act 1979 by Executive Director David Kitto, Resources and Assessments and Business Systems, as delegate for the Minister for Planning.
SSF is a 200MW AC solar photovoltaic power plant and the largest solar farm in New South Wales [“NSW”] to have obtained planning approval.
Maoneng’s Vice President, Qiao Nan Han, said, “I am pleased with the determination as it is a clear indication of the project’s quality, with timing impeccably aligned with the NSW Government’s ambition of transitioning to a net-zero emissions society by 2050.”
The solar farm, to be built near Balranald in western NSW, is one of the sunniest parts of NSW where the region currently thrives on dry-land and irrigated agricultural production of grains, wool, sheep meat and beef. Increased tourism, facilitated by developments such as SSF, are envisaged to add to the current economic drivers for the Balranald Shire.
“Our focus on developing the latest in solar power generation technology with energy storage and local tourism exhibitions would complement both the Shire and the State’s objectives.” Qiao Nan Han adds.
As part of local community involvement and support, Maoneng has committed an annual tertiary scholarship for 10 years for up to three students per year valued at approximately $10,000 per student. The scholarships are dedicated to Balranald Central School students and forms an important part of the school’s stage 6/HSC reforms.
Balranald Central School’s Principal, Aaron Flagg, said, “This is exciting news for our school community. Maoneng is genuinely interested in growing Balranald’s future. This is best demonstrated by our educational and corporate partnership. Having a huge economic development such as SSF on our door step will present many other educational opportunities over time for our students and our school’s future.”
“Education is a fundamental pillar of society which underpins the prosperity of our future generations. We are committed to this region through our long term planning in bringing a sustainable future.” Qiao Nan Han adds.
The development was first announced in May 2016 followed by receipt of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements in June 2016. Following six months of land, site, technical and grid interconnection feasibility studies, an Environmental Impact Statement [“EIS”] was submitted in February 2017. Incorporating stakeholder comments and inputs, the SSF has now been approved for construction.
“The development approval will be followed by further consultation with various stakeholders in developing detailed construction management plans. This process will run in parallel to our current contractor selection process to ensure that all conditions of consent are correctly adhered to. We are looking to start construction by the end of the year with an anticipated construction period of 12 months. If all goes well, SSF will be playing a large part in meeting the summer demand of 2018/19. Up to 250 jobs would be created within the Sunraysia region, where the project would be staffed by a mix of regional, national and international skill force, across the planning, finance, legal, engineering/design and construction industries.”
SSF is anticipated to generate approximately 530,000 MWh of electricity per year where the energy would be transmitted via Transgrid’s transmission lines throughout NSW and Victoria.
“This development will play a large part in off-setting some of the recent closures of thermal generators within the region as well as bringing opportunities for those looking to transition from fossil fuels into the renewable energy sector. Once completed, the solar farm, together with other solar farms, will be monitored and remotely operated out of Sydney. We intend to retain the relevant local staff to assist with the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the asset, once construction is completed.”
For further information please contact:
Qiao Nan Han
M +61 428 275 150
E [email protected]
Director – Project Finance and M&A
M +61 429 833 791
E [email protected]
M +61 425 431 899
E [email protected]
About Maoneng Group
Maoneng Group [“Maoneng”] is an Australian-Chinese developer, owner and operator of renewable power generation assets.
Maoneng has a development pipeline of 500MW of solar farms within Australia and sells Energy and Large-scale Generation Certificates [“LGCs”] to Australian businesses and Governments through a combination of medium and long-term contracts. Maoneng commissioned a 13MW solar farm developed under the ACT Government’s
Reverse Solar Auction scheme in November 2016.
For further information please visit our website: www.maoneng.co
We are glad to announce MAONENG’s Sunraysia Solar Farm’s EIS is currently on Exhibition at the following locations:
- Department of Planning and Environment: Information Centre
- Balranald Shire Council: 70 Market Street Balranald
- Nature Conservation Council: 14/338 Pitt Street, Sydney.
For further details please visit the following link to NSW Planning & Environment website:
If you have further queries, feel free to send us an email about the project to [email protected]
MAONENG has lodged the application for SEARs (Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements) for the Sunraysia Solar Farm (SSF) on Friday, 20th of May 2016.
To learn more about SEARs, click here.
Sunraysia Solar Farm Two Pty Ltd has had discussions with the following local stakeholders:
- Balranald Shire Council. The proposal received positive feedback.
- Adjacent land owners to the north and east were contacted and indicated their support for renewable energy projects.
A Community Engagement Plan will be prepared to inform the community and stakeholders about the proposal and their opportunities to provide input into the assessment and development process. Stakeholders will be identified as those potentially being impacted by the solar farm proposal or having an interest in the project itself. The Community Engagement Plan will set out consultation requirements with interested parties including government agencies (e.g. Balranald Shire Council, RMS, Department of Primary Industries (Land)), Aboriginal groups, community groups and neighbours to the site. The Community Engagement Plan may include:
- Preparation of material for distribution – informing stakeholders about the project and newspaper advertisements to advertise the proposal.
- Establishment of a database, including all private stakeholders and potentially affected landholders.
- Meetings with stakeholders and concerned landholders as required.
- An ‘open day’ to provide detailed information about the proposal to the general public.
- Establishment of an information hotline and project email address ([email protected]).
The Community Engagement Plan would aim to ensure that there is effective, ongoing liaison with the community. Measures to reduce adverse impacts and promote positive impacts would be identified in the EIS and appropriate management plans developed for the project. Agency consultation would also be undertaken in accordance with any requirements of the SEARs.