Plans to expand huge wind farm into solar complex

The company behind the huge Sapphire Wind Farm between Glen Innes and Inverell  has published plans to add a solar project.

CWP said it had submitted an outline of the expansion, with an assessment of the impact on the environment, to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

It estimates that the solar part of the complex would be able to generate 200 Megawatts of power, roughly enough to supply a hundred homes with electricity.  That is slightly smaller than the wind part of the complex, but still substantial.

Between the Sapphire wind/solar farms and the White Rock wind/solar farms plus the Glen Innes Wind Farm, all within a kilometre of each other, this small area will become one of the biggest complexes of renewable power in Australia or elsewhere.

Of this latest development, CWP’s Head of Development, Ed Mounsey, said the solar project was “first mooted in a Community Consultative Committee meeting held for the wind farm in August, 2016. Since that time there has been an on-going dialogue with landowners to define suitable land to host the project whilst not forgoing prime agricultural land.”

The company quoted Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, as saying: “With the Sapphire Wind Farm, along with neighbouring wind farm and solar farm developments, we already have more than $1 billion in renewable energy projects going ahead in the New England region.

“These projects will also see a significant increase in local employment and investment in the community, which is great news for the local area.”