280MW+ Of Big Solar In The Pipeline For Victoria’s Moira Shire

Solar energy in the Shire of Moira - Victoria

Image: plonk66

The Shire of Moira looks set to be home to at least two and possibly three large scale solar farms in the near future.

Located in the Hume region of Victoria in the north-east part of the state and home to just over 29,000 people, the area has been attracting the attention of international large-scale solar developers looking to harness the region’s solar energy resources.

The latest project to have been approved by Moira Shire Council is X-Elio Australia’s $112 million, 102MW solar farm proposed for a site Kaarimba Road, Wunghnu. The facility, which will be built on 270 hectares, will consist of hundreds of thousands of solar panels.

“The proposed solar farm will help to diversify the local and regional economy and strengthen Moira’s reputation as a council that embraces renewable energy investment,” said Moira Shire CEO, Mark Henderson.

Another solar farm project near Wunghnu is the Numurkah Solar Farm, which was approved by Council in August 2017.  The 100-megawatt project, to be developed by Neoen Australia (a partner in the “Tesla Big Battery” project), will be situated on land 6 kilometres south of Numurkah. Some of the output from Numurkah Solar Farm will go towards the energy supply required for greening Melbourne’s trams.

It appears the two projects have been warmly welcomed by the Wunghnu community, which has a population of just over 500. There’s little in the way of local businesses there and the town lost its only fuel station recently, so it’s hoped all the development activity will give the local economy a much-needed boost.

Another solar farm for the Moira Shire is also on the cards – according to unconfirmed Council meeting minutes from December 13, First Solar had requested that Council consider a development plan for a parcel of land on O’Kanes Road,  Numurkah, that will be subject to a planning permit in connection with the Moira Solar Farm project, an 80MW facility. The request was approved.

Renewables-friendly Moira Shire Council is also looking to boost its own solar efforts and in November released a new Environmental Sustainability Strategy (ESS). Part of the ESS involves improving the energy efficiency of council assets and increasing renewable energy uptake. One of the projects to be undertaken is the installation of a 75kW solar power system on the rooftop of the Cobram Service Centre, which will reduce the facility’s electricity costs by approximately $19,000 each 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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