Have you completed RenewEconomy’s short reader survey yet? With feedback from readers like yourself, we can keep improving and growing. Please click here to start the survey.
An 80MW solar farm with an 80MWh battery is being proposed for Victoria’s Gippsland region, a joint venture between Solis Renewable Energy, Marathon Electrical and contracting group WK & MA Ferguson.
The Fulham solar farm and battery was announced by the Repowering Gippsland JV on Tuesday, with detailed site assessments and designs said to be currently underway, ahead of community consultation and then the submission of a planning application to state government.
The plan at this stage is for the project to be located on 400 acres of farmland in the regional town of Fulham, just outside of Sale. The solar farm is planned to co-exist with existing grazing activities on the site.
The project is the second being proposed for development in the region by the JV, with a 44MW solar and 40-50MWh battery project recently being approved by the state government for development in nearby Perry Bridge, which also sits within the Wellington Shire.
“We are very excited by the ongoing progress and support for these projects,” said Brett Singh, director of Marathon Electrical, in a statement on the Fulham solar farm site.
“We have had significant interest from the local community and industry regarding the projects and are well advanced in discussions with AusNet regarding connecting the projects to the grid.”
Repowering Gippsland has also joined forces with a number of other local organisations to launch the Australian Renewables Academy, which aims to establish a skilled workforce to support the shift to renewables in the region.
Singh said the ARA would be based in Sale and would develop courses and connections with education providers that were relevant to the renewable energy industry and could be delivered Australia wide.
“We intend to create opportunities for all members of the Gippsland community through supported training and work readiness programs,” said Singh on Tuesday.
“The ARA will ensure that the economic and social benefits of the rapidly developing renewables sector are realised by the local community through the development of a well trained workforce, with transferable skills to make the most of the employment opportunities in the sector.”
Wendy Farmer, a Gippsland-based campaigner for Yes2Renewables, welcomed the news of the solar project as part of a “just transition” for the region that has been at the centre of Victoria’s coal industry.
“The announcement of the Fulham solar farm and battery is another exciting step forward for Gippsland and the energy transition underway across the region,” Farmer told RenewEconomy.
“In combination with other wind and solar projects proposed for the region, Gippsland has the opportunity to create thousands of new jobs as part of the Renewable Energy Zone.”