MALABAR Coal Ltd (Malabar) has confirmed its intention to develop a solar farm on a portion of the old Drayton Mine site at Muswellbrook.
The ‘Maxwell Solar Project’ is proposed to have an installed capacity of about 25MW and provide 50 more jobs for the local area during construction.
Malabar chairman Wayne Seabrook said the project was a terrific use for a site that had previously been subject to open cut mining.
“When we looked at it, it made great sense to put a solar farm here,” he explained.
“The site is adjacent to the major electricity generation hub in NSW – with the Liddell and Bayswater Power
Stations located nearby – and we would have access to high voltage power lines meaning a simple and low-cost connection to the grid.
“We have always said we are open to considering different, compatible uses for the previously mined area.
“Using the land in this way means the site can continue delivering economic benefits and employment for the region for years to come.
“The Maxwell Solar Project is another example of our commitment to the local area, the local economy and, above all, to coexistence with a wide range of industries and activities.”
Working at capacity, the solar farm would generate enough energy from the sun to power about 10,000 local homes.
“While we work to finalise our development application for the solar project, rehabilitation of the remaining areas of the old open cut is continuing at pace with more than 30 people on site working to get the job done,” Mr Seabrook concluded.
Due to the size and expenditure (more than $30 million) of the proposal, Malabar will be submitting a request for a State Significant Development to NSW Department of Planning and Environment.