A planned $150 million solar farm at Hay has been approved by the State Government.
Joint developers Overland and UK-based solar company IGP said the project would generate 100 jobs during the construction phase and five ongoing positions once it is up and running.
The 100 mega-watt Hay development has been approved by the state’s Department of Planning with 40 conditions, including the banning of battery storage at the Sidonia Road site, which is six kilometres from the Hay town centre and close to an Essential Energy substation.
It is the latest in a string of large-scale solar farms, which include a $100m development at Hillston and a $50m project at Balranald.
Seven government agencies made submissions during the approval, but none were opposed to the project.
Likewise, two public submissions supported the project, while none opposed it.
Hay Mayor BIll Sheaffe has welcomed the government’s announcement of approval for the project.
Cr Sheaffe said Hay Shire Council began a campaign about four years ago – entitled Greening Hay – with the aim of attracting schemes like this to the region.
“We wanted to promote ourselves for the development of projects like this,” he said.
“The shire has big spaces, reasonable land prices and lots of sunshine,” he said.
Cr Sheaffe said the solar farm project had been “on the go” for two or three years.
“Hopefully it will now go ahead,” he said.
"It’s been talked about as a possibility for two or three years, and people have known about it, but the interest has been lost a bit.
“Now that it’s been approved, there should be more interest.”
Cr Sheaffe hoped the project would bring an economic boost to Hay.
He welcomed both the short-term impact of the construction jobs and the long-term plan for five permanent staff once the solar farm was operational.
“Those five jobs could mean up to five new families moving to Hay and that will have flow-on effects,” Cr Sheaffe said.