Goldwind Australia’s proposed 20 MW White Rock Solar Farm shortlisted in ARENA’s large-scale solar funding round, is the first hybrid solar/wind renewable energy facility in the NSW region of New England Tablelands.

If the solar plant went ahead, significant infrastructure would be shared with the White Rock Wind Farm – including the grid connection, access tracks and some internal electrical cabling.

Goldwind said the potential for the solar farm to share infrastructure with the wind farm maximises the use of available facilities without requiring additional construction – saving $5 million.

“We are pleased to announce the proposal for a solar project at White Rock, which represents an innovative approach to hybrid renewable energy generation,” Goldwind Australia Program Manager John Gardner said.

It is anticipated that the solar plant would generate 46,000 MWh each year, sufficient to power 6,300 NSW homes annually. Similar to the White Rock Wind Farm, the facility would utilise local suppliers and contractors in a concerted effort to attract additional investment to the local economy.

The project is in the early stages of development, with a number of sites adjacent to the wind farm under consideration. Approximately 50 hectares would be required for the solar infrastructure.

As a shortlisted project, White Rock Solar Farm will continue development activities in tandem progress to the next stage of the ARENA application process. Assuming all necessary approvals are secured, construction of the White Rock Solar Farm would start in early 2017.