Western Australia set to decide on 180MW solar farm for state's south west | RenewEconomy

Western Australia set to decide on 180MW solar farm for state’s south west

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Plans to build a 183MW solar farm with 20MW of battery storage in Western Australia’s south west looks set to be approved this week.

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Plans to build a 183MW solar farm in Western Australia’s south west look set to be approved this week, when they go before the Mid-West/ Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel on Friday.

The $250 million Waroona Solar Farm is being developed near the town of the same name by Melbourne-based South Energy, with plans to add a battery storage of up to 20MW (the proposed battery system’s MWh storage capacity has not been stated).

The nearly 500,000 PV panels would use single axis tracking technology to get maximum exposure to the sun, but would also be spaced far enough apart, and high enough off the ground, to allow for continued agricultural uses, most likely sheep grazing.

According to the development assessment documents, it has been recommended that Mid-West/Wheatbelt JDAP approve the Waroona solar farm, subject to a number of fairly standard conditions.

South Energy is also working on plans to build a 100MW solar farm in W.A.’s Harvey Shire, with local council voting to allow the project to be advertised for public comment in September.

The smaller $150 million Benger Solar Farm is being proposed for development on around 187 hectares of farmland between Brunswick and Harvey, also in the state’s south west.

Western Australia is currently undergoing a boom in construction of large-scale renewable power plants, with the commencement of works for Risen Energy’s 100MW (AC) or 132MW (DC) Merredin solar farm in July.

Like the 207MW Collgar wind farm located nearby, the Merredin solar farm will be – at least for a while – the largest of its type in the state. And it will also likely have a battery at a later date added to ensure constant output during peak demand.

On top of this, some 560MW of new wind and solar farms have come on line in the state over the past year, and another 400MW of mostly wind is expected to be completed in the next 12 months.

These include the Yandin wind farm being built by Alinta north of Perth, the expansion of the Greenough River solar farm, and the Badgingarra and Warradarge wind farms.

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2 Comments
  1. Chris Drongers 1 month ago

    WA has a worse record of announcing solar farms that never eventuate than the eastern states – Cunderdin Sun Brilliance, Mundijong? And wind farms – Kulin, Moonies Hill?
    As much as I like WA’s planning for a swap to renewables i suspect that the state is keeping a tight rein on solar and wind to make sure that the gov investment in Synergy/Verve/Western Power/Horizon energy is not devalued too rapidly in the switch.

  2. Chris Jones 1 month ago

    Interesting this bit “high enough off the ground, to allow for continued agricultural uses, most likely sheep grazing”.

    Sheep will no doubt like it for shelter and some protection for lambs from wedgies.

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