The Repowering Gippsland joint venture has announced the planning process has commenced for its Fulham Solar Farm, an 80 MW solar PV facility and 80 MWh battery power facility set to be developed in eastern Victoria.
The Fulham project is one of three solar-storage hybrid power plants Repowering Gippsland, a joint venture between Melbourne-based management team Solis Renewable Energy, Marathon Electrical and construction firm WK & MA Ferguson, has planned for the region.
The group has also secured planning approval from the Victorian government for the Perry Bridge Solar Farm, a 44 MW solar PV and 50 MWh battery project, and has announced plans to develop the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park (GREP) near Giffard West.
The GREP is the largest of the three projects proposed by the developers with the stage 1 planning permit application expected to focus on the development of a 500 MW solar PV facility and up to 500 MWh battery storage. Solis has however indicated there is potential for expansion of the park in subsequent stages to deliver up to 2 GW of solar generation.
Marathon Electrical director Brett Singh said the projects had been well received by the community.
“We are very excited by the ongoing progress and support for these projects,” he said.
“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.”
The Fulham Solar Farm will be constructed on a 160-hectare site about 12 kilometres west of Sale.
The joint venture said detailed site assessments and designs have commenced, with a formal period of community consultation to be completed in the coming months, prior to submission of a planning application to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
The 80 MW solar farm will comprise a single axis array system of about 160,000 bi-facial solar modules and will generate enough energy to power about 25,000 homes.
Construction of the Fulham project, subject to planning approval, is expected to commence in Q1 2022, with the solar farm set to be fully operational in late 2022.
The three solar-storage hybrid power plants are part of Repowering Gippsland’s plans to transform the region into a renewable energy hotspot.
The joint venture has also launched the Australian Renewables Academy (ARA), designed to establish a skilled workforce to support the transition to renewable energy in the region.
Singh said the ARA would be based in Sale and would develop courses and connections with education providers that are 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,” he said.
“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.”
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