The New England Solar project located near Uralla in the New England Renewable Energy Zone, which is expected to power over 250,000 households, received its approval from the NSW government in 2020 and in March 2021, construction on stage 1 began
Renewable energy company ACEN Australia has announced the official opening of stage 1 of the 720MW New England Solar project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.
Stage 1 of the solar and battery project is expected to produce at full name plate capacity of 400MW in the coming months.
The New England Solar project is said to be one of the largest solar projects in Australia to be taking part in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
Its stage 1 involved the installation of around a million solar panels, said ACEN Australia.
Situated across two solar fields near Uralla in the New England Renewable Energy Zone, the solar project is being developed in two stages.
The New England Solar project received its approval from the NSW government in 2020 and construction on stage 1 began in March 2021.
The Australian Energy Market Organisation (AEMO) awarded the solar and battery project the formal registration to deliver power into the NEM in December 2022. Since then, the project has been producing renewable energy.
ACEN Australia CEO Anton Rohner said: “I truly believe that the work ACEN Australia is doing to accelerate Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future is here and now – and it starts with New England Solar.
“We decided to build New England Solar on a fully merchant basis to ensure it is online in time to help replace closing coal fired power stations in NSW. We wanted to get things built, to decarbonise Australia.”
During peak construction activity of the project, up to 400 employees were on site, constructing and connecting tracking systems, upgrading and maintaining roadways, installing and building supporting infrastructure, and installing solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.
The New England Solar project is anticipated to generate nearly 1,800GWh of clean energy per year, which will be sufficient to power over 250,000 NSW households.
Besides, the solar project is expected to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.