Preparation works underway for 220,000 solar panel farm

This solar farm at Moree is a similar size to the one to be built at Mannering Park

Roadworks along Ruttleys Rd at Mannering Park have started in preparation for a huge solar farm on Delta Electricity land.

Delta’s Company Secretary, Steve Gurney, said the road is currently being realigned to provide for a left turn into the ash dam property where the solar project will be installed.
“A slight bend in the road will be straightened and these works should make it safe for both traffic turning into the ash dam and through traffic,” Gurney said.

When roadworks are complete, there will be turning lanes from both directions into the property.
The solar project is a power partnership between Enernet Global and Delta Electricity.
Enernet will finance and construct the solar farm and sell the power to Delta, who will distribute it through the national electricity grid.
Delta will also use power from the solar project in its retail business and ensuring a significant contribution to state and federal government renewable energy targets.

Enernet’s Chief Operating Officer, Simon Gamble, said they were now working on preliminary designs and doing the studies required to support an application to connect the solar farm to the grid.
“Connection studies have progressed well and we expect to submit our application to AusGrid within a few weeks,” he said.
“On the construction planning side, we have engaged widely with contractors to identify the most appropriate firm to build the project.
“Delta and Enernet are also actively working to finalise the site lease agreement, and Enernet expects site works to begin in late third quarter of this calendar year,” Gamble said.

The solar field will be on about 80ha of the rehabilitated portion of the 524ha ash dam, within the 1,730ha Vales Point power station landholding.
The $75M project is expected to create 100 construction jobs and five full time ongoing positions.
The solar farm is expected to be operational by the end of the year.
There will be about 220,000 solar panels which will generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes annually and save 116,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

Vales Point solar farm will have an estimated life of 30 years when it would be either rejuvenated or decommissioned.
Solar projects are highly reversible after decommissioning, with all above ground infrastructure able to be removed.
Over the next 18 years, Vales Point will be one of four NSW coal fired power stations to close and this transition to solar energy will add to NSW’s five major renewable power projects.

Media statement, Feb 28
Steve Gurney, Delta Electricity
Media statement, Mar 2
Simon Gamble, Enernet Global
Document, Jan 31, 2018
Environmental Impact Statement, State Significant Development 8533
NSW Department Environment & Planning
Reporter: Sue Murray