'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.