The 288 MW Northern Midlands Solar Farm, located near Cressy, about 35 kilometres south of Launceston, Tasmania, will be the island’s largest solar project. The proposal includes a DC-coupled 345.9 MW / 691.7 MWh battery system – if realised, this will become Tasmania’s largest battery.
The project is being developed by a new renewable energy player, TasRex, and was unanimously approved the local Northern Midlands Council on Monday night.
Launceston-headquartered TasRex first announced the project in October, and Tasmania’s Minister for Energy and Renewables, Nick Duigan, today applauded the council’s approval, describing it as “great news.”
The Northern Midlands Solar Farm will comprise of 677,000 solar panels spread across two areas – Solar East and Solar West – which together will be capable of generating 288 MW (AC) and 370 MWp (DC). It is set to be located on 600 hectares of privately-owned farmland.
The O’Connor family, who own the land and have a long history of grazing sheep on the vast property, plan to run their 22,000-strong sheep flock under the solar panels once construction has been completed.
In terms of the project’s timeline, construction is currently being planned for 2025, with an operations date set for 2026, granted the rest of the approvals process progresses as planned. If the project goes ahead, it will be Tasmania’s largest battery and solar project by a significant margin.
The Northern Midlands project is just the first of a series of large-scale renewable energy projects in the pipeline of TasRex, with the company saying in October that it is looking to develop up to 5 GW of solar, and onshore and offshore wind projects in Tasmania.
TasRex is headed up by Bess Clark, the former chief executive officer of the Marinus Link transmission project. In October, the company announced it also had in place a non-binding agreement to work with the Tasmanian government.
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