The 407 kilowatt Singleton Solar Farm in the Hunter Valley was originally constructed by the New South Wales Government in 1998/99 as part of the 2000 Olympics infrastructure. At the time it is believed to have been the biggest solar PV farm in the Southern Hemisphere and remained so until about 2002. It remained the biggest in Australia until around 2005.
Eventally, the New South Wales Government abandoned the solar farm and, in June 2014, Ausgrid called for expressions of interest in the facility when it decided to divest its green power assets including the Kooragang Island wind turbine.
It was purchased by Andrew Thaler’s family company, XYZ Solar, which has also purchased the 70 kilowatt Sydney Superdome array.
Mr Thaler hopes to introduce community participation to expand the existing 2.75 hectare site, by building a community farm adjacent to the existing installation, with the aim of extending the project to 5 megawatts. He also has plans to construct a community-funded solar farm on his land in Nimmitabel in Southern New South Wales.