Renew Estate gets regulatory nod for 100 MW solar farm

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Australian renewable energy company Renew Estate has been given the green light for the construction of a 100 MW (120 MW DC) Bomen solar project, which includes a 40MWh battery storage component.

The $164 million solar farm, which is is scheduled to be fully operational by Q4 2019, will be able to power more than 30,000 homes and provide a significant boost to Wagga Wagga’s local economy. 

“This project will support hundreds of construction jobs, many that will be sourced locally over the construction period. This is a terrific boost for the local area,” said NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Resource Assessment Director Clay Preshaw.

“We’re seeing billions of dollars of private investment in renewable energy projects right across NSW and millions are now pouring into the Wagga Wagga area,” he said. “Solar energy is a key part of NSW’s energy mix and will become even more important into the future.”

According to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, there were nine objections to the proposal from local community members who raised concerns about visual impacts and land use compatibility.

The approval came based on an earlier land evaluation, showing the land near the Bomen Business Park near Wagga Wagga is suitable for the purpose given the industrial zoning and that it would have minimal environmental impacts. 

“All elements needed for development such as connection, procurement, offtake and financing are well advanced, and we will proceed with construction of this project shortly. We believe that the Bomen Solar Farm project will play an important role in the development and expansion of the Bomen Business Park,” said Renew Estate Director Simon Currie.

The Bomen Solar Farm is its second major approved solar project for Renew Estate, with the first one being the 300 MW Rodds Bay solar farm near Gladstone in Queensland.

According to the company website, it has two more proposed projects in NSW, the 120 MW Springdale Solar Farm located in Sutton and the Buronga Energy Station, which is a combined solar farm and energy storage near the Buronga and Gol Gol townships.

Renew Estate is partly owned by German renewables developer Wirsol Energy, which already has a substantial number of Australian projects under its belt.

Last year, Wirsol claimed to be the PV power plant market leader in Australia, with around 20% market share of projects under construction achieved in less than 12 months after it entered the market.

Wirsol Energy and Renew Estate came together last June to collaborate on a renewables pipeline of more than 1 GW of solar generation Down Under.

This article was amended on Oct 19 to include the battery size, updated project construction timeline and Renew Estate Director Simon Currie’s statement.