Gippsland Solar Update

The Perry Bridge solar farm is now a year behind schedule. A recent media release announced “the establishment of a joint venture between Octopus Investment and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and a partnership with the Industry Capability Network”. The joint venture is seeking “expressions of interest from local suppliers looking to access opportunities on the Project” and decided “to expand the project onto an adjacent property. The revised proposal will see the project increase from the initial proposal of a 44MW solar farm (plus batteries) on 232 acres of land, to 60MW (plus batteries), on an additional 78 acres of land.” With community consultations, planning amendments and so on this will further delay the project.

The Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation solar project has also been in the news lately. PV Magazine Australia reported the “Corporation has won over $1 million in funding from the Victorian Government for the development of a 4.9 MW solar farm, as well as several other community arrays. This is a win for Indigenous self-determination and a proven long-term income and employment stream which will help to “enable a healthy, strong and vibrant Aboriginal community”. The project is small as far as solar farms go but is welcome nonetheless and is located in Longford.

The Gippsland Community Power Hub (GCPH) has created a number of rooftop solar projects around Gippsland. These include: Coronet Bay Hall – 11.2 kW, Venus Bay Community Centre – 9.9 kW, Heyfield Wetlands Centre –13.34kW, Neerim South Hospital – 99.8kW, and the Mallacoota Water Treatment plant. The GCPH asked “If you have a renewable energy idea the team would love to hear from you.” (Contact here or here)

Also of interest but rarely in the news are the ‘behind the meter’ rooftop installations being built across our region. I have noticed a number recently installed in Bairnsdale including 30kw of north and west arrays on the roof of the Department of Health and Human Services. But by far the largest is the east and west arrays on the Aldi store with about 350 panels generating about 100kw. I have yet to get the full details on this project but it appears to be the largest behind the meter installation in town. No doubt there are many others of this kind and size across Gippsland that have passed unnoticed. Well done all concerned!