Overview

The Culcairn Solar Farm is in the South East Riverina Region of New South Wales, approximately 45km north of Albury and 70km south of Wagga Wagga.

The aim of the Culcairn Solar Farm is to develop an environmentally and economically sound solar and storage facility which will improve New South Wales’ energy security, reduce consumer power prices and facilitate greater uptake of renewable energy. The solar and storage facility, using proven technology, will be one of the largest in Australia.

The Solar Farm will provide a major contribution to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction, generating more than 800,000 MWh of clean, renewable electricity into the national power grid each year. This reduction will be the equivalent of taking either more than 180,000 cars off the road or planting more than 1.1 million trees, producing enough electricity to power approximately 105,000 homes with renewable energy.

Neoen, the developer and operator of the Power Hub, is a leading independent producer of exclusively renewable energy across Australia and around the world. The decreasing cost of technology, Australia’s commitment made under the Paris Agreement and the market traction from retailers and industries wanting to buy green energy provide highly favorable conditions for renewable energy projects in New South Wales. Neoen will leverage its experience in developing multiple solar and storage projects throughout Australia, including the 189MWp Coleambally Solar Farm which is operational since end 2018 and the world’s largest storage plant, the Hornsdale Power Reserve built in partnership with Tesla.

Neoen plans to begin construction of the solar farm in Q4 2020 and anticipates significant local employment opportunities.

Site selection

Culcairn is a site with significant renewable power potential. The factors underlying this assessment are:

  • Availability of an abundant solar resource
  • Proximity to an existing high voltage transmission line with good connection capacity
  • Adequate local electricity load with potential for growth
  • Landholders supportive of developing a solar farm on their properties
  • Low environmental impact
  • Suitable land in terms of:
    • Solar yield
    • Topography
    • Land area
    • Land zoning
    • Geology
    • Hydrology
    • Access to site 

Planning

Neoen is carrying out the necessary assessments to determine the technical feasibility of the project, including: 

  • Ecology: Flora and Fauna surveys
  • Visual and landscape impact
  • Cultural and Aboriginal Heritage
  • Hydrology and flooding
  • Geotechnical and soil assessments
  • Traffic and transport

Site Location and Preliminary Layout

The Culcairn Solar Farm site will comprise approximately up to 1300 hectares of private freehold land and will consist of up to 350 MWac of Solar panels.

Electrical Connection

The electricity generated from the solar farm will be transmitted via internal underground cabling. The project will connect to an on-site Substation that would connect via overhead cables to the 330kV transmission line which runs through the project area.