Hume Renewable Energy Roadmap project team member and Benalla based program officer in Community and Partnerships, DELWP, Fiona Roberts spoke about the Hume Renewable Energy Roadmap at BSFG's general meetig on Thursday 26 September.
The Hume Renewable Energy Roadmap has engaged thousands of people from communities, business and government to hear their views and vision for the future of renewable energy in the region.
The Roadmap identifies regional opportunities for renewable energy in Hume which includes a coalition of community energy groups working to deliver localised energy generation and distribution for community benefit.
Hume also has significant pumped hydro energy storage development potential as well as quality solar resources which have been attracting investment interest. Bioenergy resources are also abundant in Hume with a number of biogas generators operating in the region.
Fiona previously worked in the Commonwealth government as a senior policy analyst on a variety of projects including ecological sustainable development and natural resource management for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Fiona says, "The Hume Renewable Energy Roadmap report brings together what we heard and uncovered and tells our region’s renewable energy story – the past, the exciting things happening now and what the future might hold."
Members of a larger meeting audience than usual were clearly interested in finding out more about the Renewable Energy Roadmap and the possibilities for a renewable energy future for our region.
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Are your community energy programs designed to maximise community participation? An invitation from Sustainability Victoria:
"Sustainability Victoria invites you to a series of free webinars in September and October on how to ensure quality participation in your community-owned energy projects, now and in the future.
Presented by Dr Jarra Hicks from the Community Power Agency, you’ll hear about best practice approaches to community participation based on the latest insights from Sustainability Victoria’s Community Power Hubs pilot program.
This four-webinar series is ideal for community energy groups wanting to ensure future projects are designed and structured to facilitate community participation, or those wanting to create better opportunities for community participation in existing projects.
Designing community-owned renewable energy projects with strong community participation - Webinars - September-October 2019
Webinar 1: Introduction to designing community owned energy projects with strong community participation. Thursday 19 September 2019, 6:00–7:30 PM
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Webinar 4: Facilitating participation through community engagement practices. Thursday 10 October 2019, 6:00–7:30 PM
Find out more and register for free if you’d like to join the webinars. For further enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Strategic Coordinator (Hume) | Regions, Communities & Local Government
M: 0437 038 118 |Ph: 03 8626 8826
www.sustainability.vic.gov.au | follow us @sustainvic "
'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 email@example.com or visit our website www.kennedyscreeksolar.com.au or www.lakemokoansolar.com.au
+613 8842 6888 | Fax +613 8640 0706
Country News, week 11 December 2019 p4 featured an article by Rodney Woods titled 'Solar Plan Irks Locals' - an extract...
"A new solar farm is being proposed for Benalla, but locals whose houses are in close proximity have signed a petition to have it stopped before it even begins.
The proposal by AECOM Australia on behalf of Hunter and Co is set to occupy 9.1 ha at 35 Gunn Rd, about 3 km from Benalla, but locals have banded together to stop it.
It is one of the first applications to be looked at since Victoria's Planning Minister Richard Wynne announced a set of draft guidelines in October.
... the guidelines are only a draft at this stage, and will remain so until community consultation is completed in March next year...'
The article includes a link to the Draft Guidelines - 'Feedback can be made until March 1 at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/solar-energy-facilities-guidelines'.
This is an extract from an article 'Plan Presented' by Simon Ruppert in the Ensign Wednesday December 12. Subheading - 'Solar Application: Winton is set to be the site of a new solar farm that will provide power for 2300 homes'.
"Benalla and its surrounding villages will continue to support clean, renewable energy with Benalla Rural City Council giving planning permission to another solar farm project - in Winton.
John Mills, a consultant working on behalf of Lightsource Development, the company proposing the facility, presented a plan to the Benalla Rural City Council Planning and Development Committee on Wednesday. He told council that if all goes well they plan to start construction next year.
The facility, which will be built at 116 Lee Road in Winton, will consist of 42,108 solar panels, which track the sun's movement throughout the day.
The 15 megawatt solar farm is cited to provide enough electricity for 2300 homes.
The site will alos house eight inverters, nine transformers and eight batteries housed in a secure structure.
The planning permission includes the removal of five large native trees, however it also avoids areas of vegetation and habitat identified within ecological and biodiversity assessment reports.
With several solar farms planned for the Benalla Rural City Council area these decisions are going a long way to creating a cleaner, greener future for local people."
Interested in finding out more? Check out Lightsource BP's Community Information Pack on the proposed Mokoan Solar Installation
REB members recently met representatives of South Energy to discuss the proposed Goorambat Solar Farm, expected to have an estimated network capacity of up to 66 megawatts, powering approximately 24,300 households with electricity through the production of clean energy.
An information session in which South Energy shared their vision for the Goorambat Solar Farm project was held on Thursday 29 November at the Goorambat Town Hall, providing an opportunity for local opinions and ideas to be heard by the project.
Information about the project provided to the Benalla Ensign published on Wednesday 21 November included the following
South Energy, a renewable energy developer specialising in delivering utility scale solar farms, will lodge the planning application for the Goorambat project with Benalla Rural City Council shortly.
More information is available at https://www.goorambatsolar.com.au. If you have queries about the project, contact Jo Barnett: Joanna.Barnett@aecom.com.
At the BSFG General Meeting held on August 23, guest speaker from FRV Services, Development Manager Avantika Basu, provided an update on the 85MW AC Winton Solar Farm. This initiative clearly relates to Renewable Energy Benalla's mission to 'Switch 1/3'.
The first solar farm to be approved for development in the Winton region, Winton Solar Farm will help to establish a sustainable new industry for the region. Project Developer, FRV Services Australia, is one of the leading solar developers in the country, having now initiated six large-scale solar farms across QLD, NSW, SA and Victoria. Avantika provided an update on the project concept, its development approval and expected social and environmental benefits and answered a range of questions from the audience.
Information about the Winton Solar Farm Project can be viewed at the FRV website, http://wintonsolarfarm.com/, and FRV in Australia, http://frv.com/en/tag/australia/.
This proved to be an excellent opportunity to hear more about this Solar Farm Project for which it is hoped construction will begin in 2019. Engineer Avantika and her team stayed behind to answer questions and engage with us all about a project about which they are clearly very well informed and passionate.
Renewable Energy Benalla has a keen interest in utility scale renewable energy developments and contributes as a community networker by learning about and sharing information about renewable energy proposals. REB recently publicised the Lightsource BP Urbis proposed solar installation at Winton. Information was shared about, and some BSFG members attended, a community information event held by Lightsource BP Urbis on June 13 at Winton Raceway. Kristi Jorgensen and her team from Urbis Lightsource BP welcomed visitors warmly to the community information session, sharing pamphlets, answering questions and listening to community feedback on the proposed solar installation.
Informative posters on display in the room have been made available to REB by Urbis for further information:
The following morning REB committee members including John Lloyd and Peter Maddock met with Kristi and members of her team at a breakfast meeting to find out more about the proposal and share a community perspective.
Information Sheets about the Lightsource BP Solar Farm Proposal.
Mokoan Solar farm proposal - Community Information Drop In Event - Wednesday 13th June 4 to 7 pm - Winton Raceway
Recently public policy evaluation and consultancy firm URBIS contacted BSFG about a new Mokoan solar farm proposal at Lee Road Winton.
Representing Lightsource BP, Urbis has arranged a Community Information Drop-In Event to be held on Wednesday 13 June 2018 Winton Raceway 41 Fox Street, Winton. Visit the project team any time between 4pm and 7pm. Download information about the meeting.
Lightsource BP is a global market leader in the development and long-term management of large-scale solar projects and smart energy solutions.
Download information about the Lightsource BP Mokoan Solar Farm Proposal.