Plans floated for $1.2bn, 550MW Gippsland solar and battery “energy park”

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Victoria’s Gippsland region earmarked for massive $1.2 billion “renewable energy park,” that would combine up to 550MW of solar and 550MWh of battery storage.

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Victoria’s Gippsland region has been earmarked for a massive $1.2 billion “renewable energy park,” starting with a 50MW solar farm with a 50MWh battery storage system.

The project, which is being headed up by Melbourne-based company Solis RE and, reportedly, seed funded by local investors, is said to have acquired three parcels of land in the state’s Wellington Shire.

The project’s proponents say ‘detailed response stage’ has begun regarding the $125 million first stage solar and storage project, as well as “positive” discussions with the local Council.

The planning process is expected to begin later this month, a report in the Gippsland Times said. RenewEconomy has sought to confirm these details with Solis RE, but had not heard back from the company before publication.

The paper said site one of the so-called Gippsland Renewable Energy Park was expected to be connected to the National Energy Market “at minimal cost,” with the connection agreement and planning approval targeted for March next year.

From that point, the project would proceed “in logical demand-driven stages,” with sites two and three slated to host 250MW of solar each with 250MWh of batteries.

“They are both ideal properties to form the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park within the Australian Energy Market Operator Renewable Energy Zone framework and can accommodate solar, battery, gas and wind,” the project developers said in a media release.

“The Solis RE projects provide a substantial benefit to the network in the short term and address the longer-term requirements of the Victorian government’s commitment to introduce 50 renewable energy by 2030,” the statement said.

“This project helps fill the gap that will be created from the phasing out of the existing coal fired power stations, which will be much sooner than initially planned.”

The paper also quotes Wellington Shire councillor Darren McCubbin, who describes the energy park as a “tremendous opportunity to create local jobs and green renewable energy” in the region.

“With the Star of the South offshore wind farm, Maffra Solar Farm and possibly the Ramahyuck Solar Farm, Wellington can lead the state and secure our energy future,” he said.

RenewEconomy has also sought comment from councillor McCubbin.

More detail to come.

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