Victoria gives 90 MW solar farm go-ahead

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A newcomer to Victoria’s utility-scale PV pipeline, the  Carisbrook Solar Farm, is proposed for development on a 300 hectare site located about six kilometers east of the township of Carisbrook within the Central Goldfields Shire.

The 90 MW solar farm, which is planned to be collocated with energy storage of an unspecified capacity, has been proposed by German developer ib vogt, which submitted a planning permit application for the project in August 2018.

Involving an investment of over $100 million, the project will feature 250,000 panels, producing sufficient energy to power approximately 44,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by 168,000 tonnes per year. It will be connected to the main grid via an adjacent 66 kV power line.

According to the planning report, the energy storage facility will feature 27 containers, which will be located throughout the site and integrated with DC/DC converters.

During the construction phase, which is expected to last from seven to nine months, the solar farm will create upwards of 240 jobs and inject over $400,000 into the local economy.

Central Goldfields Shire Chief Administrator Noel Harvey said that granting the approval was a difficult decision, as there were concerns across the community about impact to farming properties and houses.

“Council needed to carefully weigh up state and local policies that recognize the significance of agricultural land and state policy requiring us to facilitate appropriate development of energy supply infrastructure,” Harvey said.

Noting that the site is currently used primarily for sheep grazing, ib vogt says sheep will continue to be able to graze in and around the solar arrays.

The German developer says it has been active in large-scale solar Down Under since 2016. It delivered its first Australian project – the 11 MW Williamsdale Solar Farm – near Canberra, the ACT, and has a pipeline of projects across Australia at various stages.

ib vogt says it has built more than 900 MW of energy projects worldwide to date. In addition to its strong pipeline  in the U.K., it has been involved in Egypt’s 1.8 GW Benban solar complex and delivered the Netherlands’ largest solar park – a 54.5 MW project.