CleanPeak presses go on 26 MW Victorian solar farm


Construction proper of the 26 MW (38 MWp) Wangaratta Solar Farm has begun with developer CleanPeak Energy, which has ambitions to also install a 65 MWh battery energy storage system at the site, confirming the facility is expected to be operational before the end of the year.

The solar farm, being developed on a 72-hectare site adjacent to an industrial estate on the outskirts of Wangaratta, about 210 kilometres northeast of Melebourne, will comprise approximately 80,000 solar panels mounted on a single axis tracking system.

Site works began on the project midway through 2023 and the power plant is expected to commence generation in late 2024. It will be connected into Victorian electrical transmission company AusNet Services’ 66 kV distribution network and will deliver about 75 GWh of clean energy per year into the Glenrowan substation.

In addition to the solar farm, the project also includes scope for a 15 MWh battery energy storage system with CleanPeak indicating it plans to seek a grid connection for up to 65 MWh of battery energy storage capacity at the site.

AusNet said it has already commenced upgrading the electricity network to connect the solar farm with work expected to be completed by August 2024, subject to weather and permits.

CleanPeak said the Wangaratta Solar Farm is a “landmark project” for the company that builds, owns and operates a portfolio of solar, battery and energy infrastructure.

Established in 2017, the Sydney-headquartered company was initially focused on delivering renewable energy assets for the commercial and industrial sector with more than 50 MW of rooftop solar and 35 MWh of battery energy storage either in operation or under development.

But in recent times, CleanPeak has moved into utility-scale solar. In late 2023 it announced plans to deliver at least four new solar farms in regional New South Wales. That followed its acquisition of three operating solar farms with a combined capacity of 14.3 MW in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. It also owns the 13 MW Mugga Lane Solar Park near Canberra.

CleanPeak said it is planning to utilise the energy generated by the Wangaratta power plant for its own consumption at four microgrids that service more than 5,000 customers.

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