Western NSW is leading the way when it come to renewable energy with 33 projects either planned, being constructed or operational in the region.
A total of nine wind power projects will generate more than 2750 megawatts of electricity that will flow into the grid, while 23 solar projects will generate a further 2033MW.
Planning has been approved for the 132MW Flyers Creek Wind Farm 20 kilometres south of Orange, and a 50MW solar farm has also been approved at Manildra.
NSW Renewable Energy Advocate Amy Kean said the state was experiencing a “solar boom”, with 30 new large-scale solar proposals entering the planning system in 2017 alone.
“This boom is happening right across regional NSW, which is supporting jobs and investment in regional communities while diversifying our energy mix,” she said.
“The NSW renewable energy project pipeline has never been stronger, with around 12,000 MW of large-scale projects either approved or seeking planning approval.”
The biggest projects for western NSW are two wind farms in the planning process, the 1122MW Uungula Wind Farm at Wellington and the 1008MW Liverpool Range Wind Farm at Coolah.
When it comes to solar, Nyngan is currently home to the largest operational farm in Australia, the 102MW Nyngan Solar Farm.
It generates enough electricity to power 38,000 homes every year.
However two significantly larger projects are in the planning stages for Wellington, the 300MW Wellington North Solar Farm and the 260MW Suntop Solar Farm.
Project manager for ib vogt’s Dunedoo Solar Farm Andrew Wilkinson said he expects 2018 to be the biggest year yet for projects.
“2017 has been a year for planning, now there are a lot of projects across NSW and also Queensland and in 2018 there will be a lot more projects in construction,” he said.
“The technology is constantly improving and becoming cheaper which will make it more attractive.”