Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Health


Remarks Nyngan

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Topics: Nyngan solar farm, large-scale solar investment, Paris climate summit

Thank you for welcoming us.

It's always an enormous honour to be introduced and to be welcomed by Traditional Owners and the history and the feeling of an area like this is such a great sign of Australia's health at its best.

Now I want to also acknowledge my federal colleague Mark Coulton, a fabulous local member with his wife.

And he and I have worked together on many issues and he's a great modernist in terms of the land and energy and production. He's really a fabulous partner.

At the state level, Minister Anthony Roberts, and Kevin Humphries as local member.

At the Nyngan level Mayor Ray Donald and his wife whom I met and all of the local community – you do a great job, you are hosting this plant and hopefully it's bringing more to you as well.

And then in terms of the project itself, Andy to you and your team at AGL, Greg Bourne and the team from ARENA, including Ian who's here, and then Jack with First Solar and the literally sort of world leading thin film technology which you've put together.

You know, Andy I'm delighted that you’ve said that you're going to have a viewing platform.

Australia is famous for the Big Pineapple and the Banana – well now we have big solar.

And people will come and Australians love solar energy.

And this site here is the future. Nyngan is the future today.

And it is the largest operating solar plant in the southern hemisphere.

And there'll be lots of competition going forward but that's only a good thing but right now the future is Nyngan – and flies.

And 1.36 million panels. Those panels represent over 50,000 homes being powered.

They represent 300,000 tonnes of CO2 a year that will be avoided – over the lifetime of this plant, that's 9 million tonnes.

Our task between 2020 and 2030 is 900 million tonnes, so that's one per cent of our total 2020 to 2030 task over the lifetime of this plant embodied in this one plant in this one place.

And so that is the sort of thing that Australia can do with global partnerships.

You see also that for the town the benefit – as you say, $14 million. Broken Hill I think is a $15 million benefit.

So these two towns together have received about $29 million of direct and indirect employment, contract, economic flowthrough.

So for the people that live here, hopefully it improves the electricity supply for the nation, it improves our achievement of our Paris targets, but it also supports local communities.

And that's a pretty good outcome.

At the Commonwealth level we've been supported with about $166 million for what I think a great investment.

It's returning for the country and it's the way of the future. So I couldn't be more delighted in what we're seeing here today. It's the perfect community partnership.

As we build out over the coming years, we have to build about up to 6000 megawatts of installed renewable capacity in Australia.

That's up to $12 billion of investment. So this is a fitting first fundamental step as part of that process.

We will get there, we'll achieve our 2020 targets, we're going to achieve our 2030 targets, we will all be part of a global process.

And it was really exciting being in Paris and seeing that process and Australia being right at the heart of it.

And the world looked to Australia to deliver two out of the three parts of the outcome – we were absolutely fundamental in that.

So with that, let me say congratulations, you've done a tremendous job.

Andy I'm delighted to deliver to you the certificates of the accreditation as an accredited renewable energy power station under the Renewable Energy Target. That's another way of saying you are fully legal.


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