Cohuna Solar Farm Construction Commences

Cohuna Solar Farm - Enel Green Power Australia

Image: Bru-nO

Enel Green Power Australia announced last week it had started construction of Victoria’s 34 MW Cohuna Solar Farm.

The project is situated approximately 8 kilometres south of the town of Cohuna and around 25km east of Kerang in the Shire of Gannawarra in northern Victoria. Cohuna was one of 6 solar projects to score a guernsey in Victoria’s first renewable energy auction.

Cohuna Solar Farm is expected to generate up to 77 GWh of electricity each year, avoiding around 71,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. The project will involve the installation of approximately 87,000 bifacial solar panels, which make use of light hitting both the front and rear of the module1

The solar farm will be connected to the local distribution grid through the Cohuna Zone Substation and is expected to commence commercial operations by the end of this year.

Investment in the construction of the solar facility is valued at more than USD $42 million (around AUD $59 million at current exchange rates) says Enel Green Power Australia. The project is being supported by a 15-year agreement with the Victorian Government.

As well as giving a boost to local accommodation, retail and construction sectors, the project is also providing a number of other benefits for the local community; including funding for pre-apprenticeship courses in collaboration with Regional Development Victoria.

Enel Green Power Australia’s stable also includes the 275MW DC/220MW AC Bungala Solar Project located near Port Augusta in South Australia, which became fully operational in November last year and is currently Australia’s largest operating solar PV facility. Parent company Enel Green Power boasts a managed capacity of more than 43 GW of renewables globally, incorporating wind, solar energy, geothermal and hydropower plants.

The Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS) supports the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET), which will see 25 per cent of the State’s electricity generation being renewables-based by 2020, rising to 40 per cent of generation by 2025.

Gannawarra Shire has become a hotspot of solar development activity, with 640MW of projects approved (not including Cohuna) and another 540MW of potential projects on the board. Already operating in the region is Gannawarra Solar Farm, a 60MW facility located west of Kerang. Situated adjacent to the facility is the Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS), a  25MW/50MWh Tesla Powerpack battery installation that was completed in November last year.

Footnotes

  1. SQ’s Ronald has written more about the use of bifacial solar panels in large scale PV facilities here
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. That would make it the Big Cohuna solar farm.

    Which makes me wonder when we’ll see the Big Solar Panel to go along with the Big Banana, Lobster, Pineapple etc?

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