The Department of Planning and Environment has approved four new solar projects in Western New South Wales that could power more than 100,000 homes.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, announced that clean energy projects at Nevertire, Walgett, Gilgandra and Metz would boost local employment with up to 645 construction jobs.

“NSW’s four new solar farms will have capacity to supply 275 megawatts of energy to the grid for NSW communities, businesses and services.

“NSW continues to lead Australia in large-scale solar. We are committed to our country’s Renewable Energy Target and the State’s Renewable Energy Action Plan, and we are well on the way toward the 20 per cent target for renewable energy by 2020,” Mr Roberts said.

“Our focus is on ensuring energy security and affordability for our communities, businesses and services.”

In assessing the merits of each of these projects, the Department consulted extensively with the community, landowners and local councils.

Strict conditions are in place to control the construction impacts of the projects, and ensure there are no adverse visual impacts on surrounding residences.

“North-west NSW is fast becoming one of the solar power generation hubs of the state, and our solar investment is making a huge contribution to our clean, renewable energy targets,” Mr Roberts said.

With the addition of these four new solar farms, the Department has now approved 16 new large-scale solar projects across NSW.

“When the four new farms begin operation, NSW’s 16 large-scale solar farms will generate sustainable power for 423,000 households, with a combined capacity for 1,131 megawatts of renewable energy,” Mr Roberts said.

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