NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts said the initiative will support the ongoing development of the state’s large-scale solar farms as well as providing regional jobs and investment.
There are currently eight NSW projects which are in the running for Commonwealth funding under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s national $100 million competitive round for large-scale solar.
“This renewable energy power purchase agreement is an innovative way for the NSW Government to use a portion of its energy needs to improve the competitiveness of these short-listed projects,” Roberts said.
“We are providing the solar industry with confidence that the NSW Government will support solar investment in our State and providing an opportunity for any of the successful short-listed projects to secure long-term financial certainty.
“NSW is seeking to reinforce its substantial national lead in large-scale solar and build on its competitive advantage.
“We have excellent solar resources, world-class research and development institutions, and we already have Australia’s three largest solar farms at Nyngan, Broken Hill and Moree.”
Deputy Premier Troy Grant said: “NSW has the potential to benefit from this new energy infrastructure through much-needed jobs and investment in regional parts of the state.
“Solar farms provide alternative income streams for regional communities as well as new opportunities for skilled workers and local businesses during the construction phase – more than 100 jobs can be created in the construction of a single large scale solar farm.”
Environment Minister Mark Speakman said: “This demonstrates that the government is taking concrete steps to deliver on its election commitment to implement the Renewable Energy Action Plan, and contribute to the national Renewable Energy Target of producing 33,000 gigawatt hours of energy from renewable sources by 2020.”