Climate Capital achieves Tasmanian first with large-scale solar


Renewable energy company Climate Capital has confirmed that the 4.95 MW Bell Bay Solar Farm, the first operational utility scale solar facility in Tasmania, has been exporting at full capacity since late last month.

Located on a 13-hectare site at George Town, which neighbours Bell Bay near Launceston in the state’s north, the estimated $8 million (USD 5.3 million) project comprises about 16,000 solar panels and is expected to generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 1,000 homes.

Shane Bartel, chief executive officer of Hobart-headquartered Climate Capital, said the Bell Bay Solar Farm has been exporting at full capacity since late December after receiving official approval from Tasmanian government-owned transmission company TasNetworks.

“The approval is to export 4.95 MW. We’ve also got an import component to that of 5 MW and that is to support our incoming behind-the-meter customer,” he said.

Climate Capital has an agreement in place to supply renewable energy to Queensland company Line Hydrogen’s approved 7.6 MW George Town green hydrogen project planned for Bell Bay.

Bartel said Line Hydrogen to expected to commence construction of the green hydrogen project this year with a two-hectare site adjacent to the solar farm already set aside for facility which will produce up to 1,500 kilograms of green hydrogen daily for use in local industries, including transport and mining.

The Bell Bay Solar Farm is the largest operational PV project in Tasmania but it is not expected to hold that mantle for long with a string of other utility-scale projects in the pipeline.

Among them is the proposed 288 MW Northern Midlands Solar Farm being developed by clean energy startup TasRex near the town of Cressy, about 80 kilometres south of Bell Bay.

Climate Capital is also pursuing more solar projects in the island state with Bartel revealing the company is currently working on “two or three” other projects with public announcements likely to come later this year.

Bartel said the company’s Tasmanian projects are part of a $500 million pipeline with a combined generation capacity of more than 800 MW that Climate Capital is progressing throughout Australia.

“A lot of the projects are sub-5 MW but there are some larger ones as well between 20 and 100 MW,” he said.

The company also has an operational portfolio of almost 15 MW, including the 2.3 MW Boonanaring Solar Farm in Western Australia and the 5 MW Tregalana Solar Project in South Australia.

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