The first of two renewable energy plants built under a joint venture between Delta Electricity and New South Wales sugar cane farmers has been completed at Condong on the Tweed River.

The renewable energy plant at Condong, just north of Murwillumbah, has completed performance-testing and was signed over from the contractor to the joint venture.

It is now proceeding through a further 60-day test period.

A similar plant at Broadwater, south of Ballina, is expected to be completed this month at an overall cost for the two plants of about $210 million.

The 30-megawatt power stations have been built beside existing sugar mills and will use sugar cane fibre and other certified renewable fuels to generate enough green base-load electricity for about 60,000 homes.

NSW Sugar says that by stockpiling the processed sugar cane, the renewable energy generators can operate year-round, supplying energy into the State electricity grid.

“The renewable energy generators will also see the phasing-out of the traditional sugar cane fires, as the sugar cane crop will be harvested green,” the company said.

“This will cut CO2 emissions by the equivalent of taking 80,000 cars off North Coast roads.”

An official opening is planned to mark the completion of both plants.