'Ideal for Solar Project'
Winton Wetlands' environmental potential is being diversified with expressions of interest now open on a new solar project for the site.
This will add to a number of local solar projects as Benalla and district continues to embrace clean energy generation.
Winton Wetlands Committee of Management chair Dennis O'Brien said the project was in response to the Australian Government's initiative to mitigate the risk of climate change and global warming.
"The purpose of the proposed project is to supply green electricity generated from solar irradiation into the National Energy Market," Dr O'Brien said.
"The Committee of Management is capitalising on the site's natural ecopnomic strenghts and aligning themselves to add to the state government's energy mix, as we work towards the target of 40% renewable energy generation by 2025.
"Solar farms are the most direct way to help us reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
"Solar farms feed surplus power to the mains grid thereby distributing renewable, clean energy."
After two feasibility studies considering the practicability of developing a solar photovoltaic (PV) facility and associated infrastructure on the Winton Wetlands site, and the preliminary ecological constraints and planning approval matters, it was determined that solar PV projects at Winton Wetlands are technically viable at a commercial scale.
"The choice of location for the Mokoan Solar Project is driven by two main factors," Dr O'Brien said.
"Firstly, this location has among the highest levels of solar irradiation in Victoria.
"Secondly, the site has excellent topography - being very flat, with excellent drainage features."
The proposed site is up to 800 ha of crown land, to build and operate 200+MW capacity, equating to a provision of more than 50,000 households.
The expression of interest process is now open until Friday, July 12.
BSFG and REB recently received an Invitation to the Community Consultation for South Energy's proposed Solar Farms at Kennedys Creek and Lake Mokoan on Thursday 13 June at the Lake Mokoan Hub from 4 to 7 pm. The invitation letter included the following background information and contact details.
South Energy is currently preparing two upcoming planning permit applications for the use and
development of two solar farms; Kennedys Creek Solar Farm and Lake Mokoan Solar Farm. Both
proposed solar farms are located in proximity to the Winton Wetlands.
With great respect to your effort and dedication to the region, we wish to inform the Benalla
Sustainable Future Group of the upcoming planning applications to ensure that members are aware of both proposals and are given the opportunity to provide feedback on the projects.
Community consultation is a key next step for the proposals and will help to inform the design and delivery of the projects. An information session about the proposed solar farms will be held at the Mokoan Hub and Café at 4pm to 7pm on Thursday, 13 June 2019. South Energy would like to formally invite members of the Benalla Sustainable Future Group to the information session and welcome member’s comments on the proposed solar farms.
2.0 Site and Project Overviews
In response to the Australian Government’s initiative to mitigate the risk of climate change and global warming, the purpose of the proposed projects is to supply green electricity generated from solar irradiation into the National Energy Market. The projects will contribute significantly to Australian and Victorian renewable energy targets by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 547,000 tonnes a year in total. The following two sections provide an overview of each solar farm.
2.1.1 Kennedys Creek Solar Farm
The Kennedys Creek Solar Farm will be located at:
• Murray Road, Benalla;
• 51 Nelson Road, Benalla;
• 67 Nelson Road, Benalla
• 125 Nelson Road, Benalla; and
• 284 Benalla-Yarrawonga Road, Benalla.
The site is located within the Industrial 1 Zone and the Farming Zone. Currently, it is being used for broad acre farming. Upon completion, the project is expected to have a network capacity of up to 145 megawatts (MW), providing green electricity to approximately 51,000 households each year.
2.1.2 Lake Mokoan Solar Farm
Lake Mokoan Solar Farm will be located at:
• 892 Benalla-Yarrawonga Road;
• 81 Lake Mokoan Road, Goorambat; and
• Benalla-Yarrawonga Road, Benalla.
The project is approximately 4 kilometres north of the proposed Kennedys Creek Solar Farm and is situated to the west of the Winton Wetlands. The project is located wholly within the Farming Zone and is also currently used for broad acre farming.
The project is expected to have a network capacity of up to 115 MW and is anticipated to provide green electricity to approximately 41,000 households each year.
3.0 What’s Next?
Both of the chosen sites have been deemed suitable for development of a solar farm due to their
topography and proximity to existing infrastructure.We understand the importance of community engagement to ensure that local opinions, perspectives and ideas are heard and considered by the projects. Once we have considered the feedback received from all stakeholders, it is anticipated that the planning application will be submitted to Benalla Rural City Council in July 2019.
Should you have any questions or queries regarding the projects, please do not hesitate to contact David Huang on (03) 8842 6888 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.kennedyscreeksolar.com.au or www.lakemokoansolar.com.au
+613 8842 6888 | Fax +613 8640 0706
Public consultation on climate change targets following release of Independent Panel Report on targets for Victoria
The Victorian Climate Change Act 2017 legislates an economy-wide target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and requires the Government to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2025 and 2030 by 31 March 2020 to set a pathway to net zero.
The Government sought advice on setting these targets from an Independent Expert Panel chaired by the Hon Greg Combet AM. The Panel’s final report has been tabled in Parliament and is available at https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/reducing-emissions/interim-targets.
The Government is now seeking further input to inform its decision on targets for 2025 and 2030, and to identify priority actions to reduce Victoria’s emissions to inform the development of sector pledges to 2025.
Sector pledges will describe the actions Government will take to reduce Victoria’s emissions. These will be developed with the Victorian community and businesses before being announced by 1 August 2020.
The consultation is open from 6 June 2019 to 22 July 2019.
Renewable Energy Benalla Response
Renewable Energy Benalla provided input to the Independent Expert Panel report on interim emissions reduction targets and will be participating in the next stage of the consultative process, details of which are available at https://engage.vic.gov.au/climate-change-reducing-victorias-greenhouse-gas-emissions.
REB members have been asked to consider the interim remission reduction targets in the report and be prepared to contribute to a response from REB at our next meeting.
For further information about REB's contribution and response, please contact John Lloyd.