Dumaresq Solar Farm Project Progress

Dumaresq Solar Farm

If you haven’t heard of the Dumaresq Solar Farm project in New South Wales yet, it’s probably because little has been written about it.

The proposed project is to be located  between the towns of Ashford and Bonshaw in Inverell Shire (North West Slopes region).

Dumaresq Solar Farm is intended to be up to 190 megawatts capacity AC and will also feature battery storage. Battery system capacity is yet to be decided on, but  according to the Scoping Report supporting the request for the Secretary’s Environmental Indicative Assessment Requirements (SEARs), it will be a maximum of 190MW/380MWh.

The proposed project site is intersected by Transgrid’s Dumaresq to Bulli Creek 330kV Transmission Lines. The area had been severely affected by drought when this photo was taken.

Dumaresq solar farm site

Developer Halo Renewable Energy has already issued a number of requests for Expressions Of Interest (EOIs) including capital investment assessment, surveying/engineering, community engagement and visual and glare assessment consulting services. The first two mentioned closed last week and the remainder close this week.

Halo Renewable Energy seems particularly keen to stay on the good side of the local community, which is always a wise move. There will be approximately 150 jobs during the construction phase and around 5 full time jobs over the 40 years the facility will be operating. The company notes contractors and service providers able to provide opportunities for local employment will be looked upon favourably.

The project still has a long way to travel in terms of development approval and there’s a bit more information available on the Dumaresq Solar Farm website

Big Solar In Inverell Shire

Inverell Shire is a great spot for a large-scale solar energy, but not much has been happening in terms of operational facilities – yet. Currently the largest appears to be a 221kW system installed at Woolworths Inverell.

Among other large-scale PV facilities in the works is Bonshaw Solar Farm, a 200MW (AC) project (originally to be up to 500MW) that will also incorporate battery storage – 100MW expandable to a further 200MW. According to this letter dated November last year, it looks like the finalists for the energy storage aspect are Samsung SDI, Tesla and Fluence.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Bonshaw was finalised in October last year by proponent GAIA Australia Pty Ltd and is currently still in the Response To Submissions stage.

Another is the approved 180MW (AC) Sapphire Solar Farm around 30km east of Inverell, which is to be co-located with the Sapphire Wind Farm and will also feature battery storage.  The project is expected to commence construction late this year.

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.

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