Federal approval delivers project first for Virya Energy


The Australian government has provided the green light for the giga-scale Yanco Delta renewable energy generation and battery storage project being developed by Virya Energy near the New South Wales (NSW) town of Jerilderie.

The project, being developed on a 33,000-hectare site in the state’s South West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), includes an 800 MW/800 MWh battery, a 1,500 MW wind farm and grid connection infrastructure. The project is expected to generate enough clean energy to supply approximately 700,000 homes.

Virya, which owns and operates more than 1 GW of green energy generation capacity globally, said the approval of the Yanco Delta project is the first for the developer in Australia.

“This is a very exciting time,” the company said, noting that the local team is “a small team of experienced and dedicated renewable energy professionals with big plans to support Australia’s transition to clean energy.”

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said the approval of the Yanco Delta project is a significant step in the government’s plan to make Australia a “renewable energy superpower.”

“Years of political fights over climate change have cost Australia big time. It meant emissions were higher for longer. It put renewable energy projects years behind,” she said.

“We want to unlock Australia’s potential to be a world leader in renewable energy. It’s a huge task – we’re remaking our entire energy system.”

Plibersek said the project has been approved under Australia’s environment law and is able to proceed with strict conditions to protect nationally protected threatened species including the superb parrot and the plains-wanderer.

The federal government’s approval of the Yanco Delta project comes after the NSW government provided its approval in December 2023.

At that time, NSW Energy Minister Penny Sharpe said the project would make a significant contribution to the state’s net zero targets and the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

“Over the next decade, three of the four remaining coal-fired generators in NSW are scheduled to retire, removing around 7,400 MW of dispatchable electricity generation from the system,” she said.

“Renewable energy developments like this one in the South West Renewable Energy Zone are critical to our energy future, so we can ensure there is enough renewable energy to replace aging coal-fired power stations.”

Construction of the Yanco Delta project is scheduled to commence in line with the completion of Project EnergyConnect in 2025-26 and is expected to take up to 36 months. Viraya expects the facility to commence commercial operations before the end of 2029.

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