Sundown Solar Farm would generate enough electricity to power 254,000 homes.
Sundown Solar Farm will play an important role in contributing to both the increasing need for affordable, sustainable, renewable energy and in tackling the global issues of climate change.
The project consists of a large-scale solar photovoltaic generation facility, including battery storage and associated infrastructure, with an estimated maximum capacity of up to 600 MW, enough to power over 250,000 homes.
The footprint and scale of Sundown Solar Farm will be refined through the development of the project Environmental Impact Statement. Further decisions around alternatives will be made during detailed design with a view to minimising environmental and social impacts while maintaining the investment viability.
The proposal is located on land within the Inverell Shire Local Government Area (LGA). This area has been selected following a state-wide screening process and offers a unique opportunity to co-locate a solar and battery project in close proximity to other renewable energy projects and a major electricity transmission corridor.
(map shows approximate location of the project)
(those proposed in the future are subject to change)
Site Identification and Resource Monitoring
Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA)
Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) issued
Environmental Assessment studies
Environmental Assessment on Public Exhibition
Development Approvals forecast
Construction forecast to commence
Forecast to be fully commissioned and operational
- Increase in local employment and investment in the community
- The development of renewable energy generation project with storage along major transmission routes is in line with the Federal Government’s direction to improve the affordability and security of the national energy market while also delivering on international climate commitments.
- Battery storage can add significant benefits to solar generation because it allows for the dispatch of energy in accordance with market demand and overcomes potential issues associated with the intermittency of output.
- Post construction, it is proposed that the balance of land that is not occupied by solar farm infrastructure would continue to be used for agricultural purposes such as sheep grazing, resulting in only a minor net change to the existing land-use situation.
Site Selection and Resource Assessment
A TransGrid 330 kV transmission line directly crosses the proposed project area, which will provide the connection to the National Electricity Grid. A new substation connecting Sundown to this line will be constructed in cooperation with TransGrid.
The identified land is currently used for grazing and/or cultivation by landholders included in the project. The site is generally flat or of a consistent slope, and largely clear of trees and dense vegetation so will require minimal preparation in advance of installing the PV modules.
While a solar PV project can occupy a large area of land, the on-ground impacts are relatively minor by comparison.
A full description of the development, including details of construction, operation, upgrading and decommissioning, plus a detailed site plan showing all infrastructure and facilities (including site access points, routes, site compounds, laydown areas, the substation, carpark facilities and other ancillary infrastructure) will be provided in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).