Sapphire Solar

Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy project

Sapphire Solar Farm is an approved development co-located with the Sapphire Wind Farm.

As a c 200 MW hybrid solar and battery power facility, the planned development will represent Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy project. The project will connect wind and solar generation with battery storage, expanding the credentials of New South Wales’ New England region as a leader in renewable energy.

When complete, the Sapphire Solar Farm would provide enough energy to power 68,000 average Australian homes a year. It would also play a vital role in helping the Australian Government meet the COP21 emissions target reduction of 26-28% by 2030 and support New South Wales’ climate change policy.

The facility perfectly complements the Sapphire Wind Farm allowing the up to 170 MW of merchant wind generation to also be stored and dispatched with solar energy.

Quick facts

Sustainable. Renewable. Zero emissions.

Solar power is a natural choice for reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

  • c 200 MW capacity

  • Power 68,000 homes

  • $220 million investment

About the project

Co-located with the Sapphire Wind Farm, the approved Sapphire Solar Farm provides a unique opportunity to create Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy project – connecting wind and solar generation, alongside battery storage to the National Electricity Market.

Located 30km east of Inverell on 11 hectares, the site facilities will include battery storage, solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, electrical transformers and inverters and other ancillary equipment.

The project is expected to commence construction in early-2019 and completed by early 2020.

Sapphire Solar - Project Timeline

Consultation with host landowners commenced

March 2016

Presentations to the SWF Community Consultative Committee

August 2016

Community and landowner meeting

March 2017

Consultation with mining lease and exploration licence holders

June 2017

Preliminary Environmental Assessment report

August 2017

EIS public exhibition

January 2018

NSW Approval

August 2018

Commonwealth Approval

October 2018

Expected construction to commence

Q1 2019

Expected construction to be completed

Q1 2020

Environmental Assessment and Approval

Sapphire Solar Farm is a state significant development.

Publicly available planning documents are available for download on the NSW Major Projects website here:

Major Project Assessments

The project was granted development consent by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act on 16/8/18. It was also granted consent by the Minister for the Environment (according to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) on 15/10/18.

The approvals and consent conditions are:

NSW EP&A Act Development Consent SSD8643 (consent conditions)

Commonwealth EPBC Act Approval 2017/8121 (consent conditions)

Contractors

Sapphire Solar Farm encourages local contractors and service providers to tender for the supply of goods and services during construction and operation of the wind farm. Click below to fill out the expression of interest form.

Contractor Enquiries

Why solar, why CWP – the time is now

With over two decades of renewable energy development experience and 4,200 MW of installed capacity across 20 countries, CWP Renewables delivers world-class renewable energy development expertise in Australia.

And the technology just keeps getting better. Wind and solar power are now the cheapest new power generation options that can be built today. Battery storage technology is rapidly advancing too, enabling renewable energy to be stored and then ‘dispatched’ when it is needed. Wind and solar generation with battery storage delivers ‘baseload’ generation without emissions.

Australia is fortunate to have the largest solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world. Now, more than 2 million Australians have a solar system on their roof. In 2017, Australia is experiencing an unprecedented $8 billion investment in renewable energy – seeing over 4,000 new jobs and indirect economic benefits to local communities.

At the COP21 climate talks in Paris (December 2015), the Australian Government committed to (and has now

ratified) an emissions target of a 26-28% reduction by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

The NSW Government has also recently developed a draft NSW Climate Change Policy Framework in support of the COP21 commitments and to demonstrate action on climate change. While still in its infancy, long-term objectives of this framework include achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and enabling NSW to become more resilient to climate change. This includes taking advantage of opportunities to grow new industries in

NSW, such as ‘advanced energy’, including combined renewables and storage.