Friday, October 27, 2017

'Solar Solution' discussed at Shepparton round table event

If all goes to plan, GVCE chief executive Geoff Lodge said the facility could start being built in the second half of next year.

GV Community Energy's Geoff Lodge with
 GVCE board member, Terry Court (back).
Goulburn Valley Community Energy’s chief says the group is on the way to developing a 20 megawatt, $30 million solar farm for the Goulburn Valley.

But representatives stopped short of revealing where, as negotiations around lease and investment continue.

Mr Lodge unveiled some of the group’s plans when Shepparton hosted a northern Victorian new energy and technology round-table discussion.

‘‘We were announcing GV Community Energy is working on a solar farm,’’ he said this week.

‘‘We’re negotiating with a landowner. When negotiations are finished, we can announce where that solar farm will be.’’

Mr Lodge said battery storage had been planned for the facility, which was to take up about 40 ha of land.

The project had been about four years in the making and the round-table was a chance to provide some detail about the project, he said.

‘‘We’ve got multiple discussions going on with landowners to finalise a lease, and then we’re also having discussions with investors.’’

The group would be seeking large electricity users in the Goulburn Valley interested in buying the power generated.
‘‘We will be inviting local investors . . . to invest in the project.’’

Mr Lodge acknowledged Victorian Government funding for the group to work on a business plan ‘‘was pivotal in us being able to put in the bid’’ to develop the project.

Greater Shepparton City Council has recently been making efforts to develop a significant solar facility on Goulburn Valley Link land south of Mooroopna, while Moira Shire Council is moving ahead with a 100 MW solar farm for Wunghnu.

The large-scale solar farm proposal for Mooroopna was addressed during the confidential section of a recent council meeting, with one councillor questioning why the matter was behind closed doors.

Following an expressions of interest call to parties interested in developing a solar facility, the council moved to a limited tender process.

Thomas Moir’s story in today’s Shepparton News -“Solar Solution”.

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