The project

Narragamba Solar is a proposed 320-megawatt renewable energy project located 20 kilometres north of the historic mining town of Gulgong, in the Mid-Western Regional Local Government Area. It will be developed on cleared grazing land, and include rows of solar panels, electrical infrastructure (such as inverters, a substation, cables, and a potential battery system), access roads and other associated infrastructure such as maintenance facilities.

The project will connect to new transmission infrastructure developed by the Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) as part of the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone.

Project assessment process
The project is being assessed as a State Significant Development of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is the responsible state planning authority for the project. A range of assessments and site surveys are being undertaken as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

At a glance

  • Power
    160,000
    average Australian homes each year
  • Contribute to NSW Target of
    50%
    renewable energy by 2030
  • Employ and buy
    local
    commitment
  • Up to
    320MW
    installed capacity
  • Up to
    400
    jobs at peak construction
  • Up to
    15
    operational jobs

Community

Built on a foundation of trust and shared value, we seek to develop relationships with communities that create enduring and positive impact. Here are some of the things we are doing and have proposed to implement for Narragamba Solar following project approval.

  • ACEN Australia Social Investment Program (SIP) available to the community from now and into construction of the project.
  • Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) with Mid-Western Regional Council, commencing at construction of the project through the end of the project life. Likely to consist of a payment to the equivalent value of 1.5% of the project’s capital expenditure to Council for the purpose of delivering and facilitating community projects and infrastructure
  • Through the payment of Access Fees allowing connection into the Central-West Orana REZ infrastructure, ACEN will make significant financial contributions to the NSW Government to be directly invested into communities within the CWOREZ
  • Neighbour agreements so that eligible properties receive a direct benefit
  • Commitment to responsibly decommission all project infrastructure at the end of project life
  • Commitment to prioritise the participation of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)  to deliver goods and services
  • Commitment to product stewardship through environmental and social procurement that encourage circular economy outcomes
  • Solar panel rows and heights designed so that grazing can co-exist once the project is operational
  • Carefully consider suitable accommodation solutions for the project construction workforce so as not to negatively impact on housing availability and affordability
  • Commitment to First Nations participation through areas such as contracting, employment, training and business innovation
  • Commitment to Learning Worker participation through areas such as traineeships and apprenticeships
  • Commitment to using local content for construction materials from Australia or New Zealand
Social Investment Program 

ACEN Australia Social Investment Program (SIP) available to the community. This is ACEN Australia’s voluntary contribution available now and into construction of the project. Funding is available to not-for profit organisations and activities that directly benefit and enhance the liveability and vibrancy of the community.

Worker accommodation

The expected peak construction workforce for Narragamba Solar is 400. To limit the use of short-stay and/tourist accommodation in the region, ACEN Australia is planning to build a temporary workers accommodation facility.  The facility is proposed on the south-eastern side of Barneys Reef. It would be located approximately 1km south of EnergyCo’s Merotherie hub.

This option will:

  • Limit the impact on regional housing availability and affordability
  • Enable the region’s thriving tourism industry to flourish Offer contracting and employment opportunities for local providers for the construction and servicing of a facility
  • Maintain the current social fabric of communities, including security and traffic by limiting the majority workforce to one location
  • Offer a positive health and well-being experience for workers through appropriate accommodation design
  • Potentially provide local government or other entities with accommodation facilities that can be re-used to meet community needs in the future

First Nations participation

As a company seeking to harness wind, solar and water resources for energy today, we reflect on the contributions made by First Nations over thousands of years. We recognise the value of a better understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, and commit to meaningful participation with First Nations groups to support the protection of country, culture, and the development of their aspirations.

Jobs and business

We have a commitment to employ and buy locally where we can so we can keep the benefits local. With such a significant construction investment, it is anticipated that there will be many opportunities for regional businesses to be involved. Goods and services likely to be procured locally include:

Central -West Orana community impacts and benefits

We are planning several projects in the NSW Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWOREZ) in the coming years and we are working with stakeholders and communities to balance the impacts and opportunities that a growing renewable energy industry can bring. We want to maximise local employment and business opportunities and deliver the most appropriate accommodation solutions for our workforces. Our preference and priority is to employ locally first, however current skills and labour shortages are a considerable barrier in achieving this.

Project updates

Update

ACEN Australia Leadership Changes

After six and half years as Co-founder and CEO, Anton Rohner will be moving on from the role as CEO of ACEN Australia. While Anton…

Contact

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Privacy Policy

Project office
79b Herbert Street, Gulgong
Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Email
info@narragambasolar.com.au

Phone
1800 569 077

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