New contender for Tasmania's first solar farm, with 5MW Bell Bay proposal | RenewEconomy

New contender for Tasmania’s first solar farm, with 5MW Bell Bay proposal

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An application for a new, 5MW solar farm proposed for George Town in Tasmania’s north, has been submitted to the local council.

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Tasmania’s bid to get itself onto the large-scale solar map of Australia continues this week, with plans for a 5MW project in the island state’s north submitted for development approval.

The Bell Bay solar farm, which is being developed by Victorian company Climate Capital, is proposed for construction on vacant industrial land in George Town, which sits next to the River Tamar in Tasmania’s north.

According to a development application submitted to the George Town Council, the $8 million project will use an estimated 16,000 tracking solar panels and generate enough renewable electricity to power up to 1000 Tassie homes.

Climate Capital CEO Shane Bartel told local paper The Examiner that a separate development application would soon be lodged for a connection to the TasNetworks grid, once the best option was settled upon.

“There’s two locations that… we’re looking at with TasNetworks,” he told the paper. “One is right next to the property on the distribution line, that’s the wooden poles and wires that go along the road, and that would be probably the easiest one.

“But then we might have more flexibility if we connect to a larger substation so we’re looking at another connection point in the south of the property as well too.”

Tasmania is still yet to produce a large-scale solar farm, although two projects are in the pipeline. These include the “pre-construction” 12.5MW Wesley Vale solar farm being built by Epuron in the Latrobe region, east of Devonport, and the 5MW George Town solar farm, also by Epuron and also said to be approved and ready for construction.

As it happens, the latter project was also ushered through the design and approvals by Bartel, who now heads up Climate Capital.

“[Bell Bay solar farm] is very similar in size to the George Town solar farm, which I put through council a couple of years ago,” Bartel told The Examiner.

The project’s application is open to public comment until July 31.

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