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Victoria big solar pipeline adds two new projects

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GreyBoxEnergyField

Image: Supplied: Grey Box Energy Field

Victoria looks set to add another two solar farms to its growing pipeline of large-scale renewable energy developments, with a 120MW project proposed for Glenrowan, in the state’s Rural City of Wangaratta; and planning approval secured for a 30MW project in Horfield, in the Gannawarra Shire.

The $170 million Glenrowan project, proposed by Australian renewables developer ESCO Pacific is slated for construction on 245 hectares of existing private land.

According to a report in the Wangaratta Chronicle on Friday, the proposed solar farm’s 360,000 panels would be set up on an east-west tracking system and the energy generated fed into the AusNet distribution network located nearby.

ESCO is also behind the 148MW Ross River Solar Farm that is being built on a former mango plantation near Townsville, in Queensland. The $225 million project secured a power purchase agreement with Energy Australia in February.

The Gannawarra Shire solar farm – a $45.5 million, 30MW(AC) project called Grey Box Energy Field – looks set to be developed 8km south of Cohuna in Victoria’s Murray River region, after the approval of a planning application for development of a renewable energy facility adjacent to the Kerang-Leitchville Road at Horfield, subject to conditions.

According to a report in the Gannawarra Times on Friday, the project will comprise two large solar arrays in the north and south sections of the approved site, and will feed power to an adjacent zone electricity sub-station.

Subject to formal planning and building permit approval, the project should begin construction in March next year and be operational by January 2019.

Gannawarra is also home to what stands to be one of Victoria’s largest solar projects, the eponymous Gannawarra Solar Farm – a potentially 300MW facility that is in its first phase of development by Solar Choice and Edify Energy, on the 220kV transmission line between Swan Hill and Kerang.

On completion of the solar farm’s first phase – which is slated for early 2018 – it will have nameplate generation capacity of around 60MW, and will sell all of its output to EnergyAustralia, as part of a 13-year PPA signed with the gen-tailer in February.  

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  • Nick D

    Ahh such good news. It will be nice to see the output of large solar next to the small solar output increase. As of today at 1:40 small scale solar is 3,151MW. It’s such a awesome thing to see.

    • Joe

      I live in NSW and all I read is new announcements of Wind or Solar in SA, Vic & QLD……NSW is doing not much from what I can see.

      • RobertO

        Hi Joe Here a NSW GOV web site
        .majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=search&page_id=&search=&authority_id=&search_site_type_id=33&reference_table=&status_id=&decider=&from_date=&to_date=&x=49&y=6

        • Joe

          Thanks

      • neroden

        NSW is way way behind. Every other Australian state and territory is doing better. SA, Vic, QLD, WA, NT, ACT, even Tasmania.

  • Tom

    The numbers are getting me excited – $170 million for 120MW is less than $1.50/watt – for SINGLE AXIS TRACKING!

    So I looked at ESCO Pacific’s website – the Glenrowan project isn’t up on it yet, but there is a nearby project called the Finley Solar Farm that is described – 170MW DC for $170 million. So $1/watt, and this is single axis tracking too!

    I realise that DC always reads better than AC by about 25%, but this would still make the Glenrowan plant $1.77/watt AC (assuming that the quoted output was for DC) and the Finley plant only $1.25/watt AC.

    I don’t know how they can build SAT PV for $1.25/watt so I’ll wait and see, but if they can pull it off, then some people are really going to have to revise their numbers.