A 200 MW solar farm and a related 300 MW lithium-ion battery storage plant were approved by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) of New South Wales.

The range will be built on a 149-hectare site about 16 kilometres south of Bonshaw, near Inverell. A network of PV modules in single-axis tracking mounts will be used, all attached to the current Transgrid Dumaresq 330 kV substation.

For an estimated 70,000 households, the AUD 238 million (US$176.8 million) solar farm being built by GAIA Australia would have the potential to produce electricity. “Rated a “State Important development, the project was referred to the IPC for determination because the Commission said the applicant made a reportable statement of political contributions.

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In November, the Department of Planning, Business and Environment finalized its government-wide review of the proposal, and IPC Commissioner John Hann approved the development on Thursday, subject to certain conditions. The IPC put a clause of the construction consent requiring GAIA to rehabilitate the site when operations cease.

“The Commission agrees with the assessment of the department… and agrees that the project is in accordance with and in the public interest of the (Environmental Planning and Assessment) Act,” Hann wrote.

GAIA anticipates that the plant will be operational by mid-2022. It would supply the National Electricity Market (NEM) with 200 MW of renewable energy, or 420 GWh per annum.

“The project will support the governments of the Commonwealth and NSW in achieving their respective reduction targets for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions,” GAIA said.

Following the recent approval of the 65 MW Tamworth Solar Farm and the integrated 19 MW battery storage facility, the Bonshaw project has been approved.

Source – here