Gippsland Renewable Energy Park Update

Gippsland Renewable Energy Zone

I have blogged on the Solis solar projects in Gippsland a number of times, in particular on the smaller Perry Bridge farm. I have previously noted that this project was well behind schedule and suspected that problems with finance were the main cause of the delay. I have also blogged on their much larger Gippsland Renewable Energy Park (GREP) where I noted that the “2347 ha of land the project has acquired is low value dry land pasture and, importantly, sits on top of the Basslink cable. Many of the solar and wind projects in the west (of Victoria) have had trouble with the mains power line capacity being insufficient to carry the total power they all generate. Strategically locating by Basslink will enable the full energy production of the park to be utilised”.

In July last year the Gippsland Times announced that there “has been a major step forward for two local solar farm projects, with major investors coming on board to deliver projects in Perry Bridge and Fulham. Solis Gippsland Projects… has announced Octopus Australia and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) have purchased the rights to develop the proposed Perry Bridge and Fulham solar farms”. It now seems they also have the rights to the GREP.

Recently Sophie Vorrath wrote in Reneweconomy that a “massive hybrid renewable energy and green hydrogen project being developed to replace outgoing Victorian coal generation has won the backing of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and one of Australia’s leading superannuation funds, Hostplus. The CEFC said on Tuesday that and Hostplus would invest in the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park – a project that will start with 500MW of solar and 500MWh of battery storage – via a joint venture platform being managed by Octopus Australia. The federal government’s green bank is tipping in $8.5 million in the project, which was initially developed by Solis RE on a 3,000 hectare site at the heart of Victoria’s proposed Gippsland Renewable Energy Zone, in the heart of Victorian coal country.”

Whilst this is all good news it is personally frustrating that these projects take so long to materialise. Where are our elected representatives championing these projects? As far as I can see there is not one of either political colour at a Federal or State level. Where are their calls that these projects proceed as quickly as possible, that they be fast-tracked to help mitigate to the burgeoning effects of climate change?