May 30 (Renewables Now) - A proposal by First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) for a 174-MW solar farm plus storage near Wellington in New South Wales, Australia was on Friday approved by the state's Department of Planning and Environment.
The US solar company's AUD-270-million (USD 203m/EUR 175m) project will involve the installation of 440,000 solar panels and the construction of a 100-MWh energy storage facility.
The department, which consulted with the public on the project from December 14, 2017 to January 28, 2018, said the development will help the electricity sector move from coal and gas-fired power generation to low emissions sources. According to it, the site is suitable for a solar farm as the solar resource is good and there is available grid capacity.
The department's assessment report notes that in 2017, 19.6% of New South Wales' energy came renewable sources, while 75.8% was derived from coal and 4.6% from gas. It adds that currently there are no plans for new coal power stations in the state.
Construction is expected to start in the third quarter of 2018 and to be completed in up to 12 months.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.750/EUR 0.648)