Environmental Benefits of The Project
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges our society faces today. The risks are not only affecting us locally, but they are also making an impact on a global scale. To combat this, we at South Energy believe there is a need to work towards a better, cleaner and more sustainable future.
The Benger Solar Farm is a solid step in the right direction in mitigating the effects of climate change. The solar farm will ensure that several hundred thousand tonnes of greenhouse gas are not emitted each year. These emissions will be equivalent to around 45,000 cars being driven annually.
At full capacity, Benger Solar Farm is expected to:
· Power approximately 35,000 homes; and
· Reduce 210,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
The Australian Government is committed to moving towards a sustainable future and has set a target to source 23.5% of all electricity nation-wide from renewable energy generators (including solar) by the year 2020. Other projects (like the Western Australian Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy) and further infrastructure development in the SWIS are also focused on ensuring consumer expectations are addressed for reliable, secure and affordable energy. Hence, the new solar farm at Benger will go a long way in aiding both Western Australia and the nation in reaching their targets.
The construction of a solar farm is a huge undertaking and will require at least 250 workers performing various jobs across multiple stages of its construction, if not more. Some of the fields include:
- Fencing and landscaping
- Civil works
- Mechanical installation works
- Electrical works
- Transportation, and more.
The project will take around 12-18 months of full-time construction. Once it is complete, it’s estimated that there will be up to four permanent, full-time positions available to ensure optimal and efficient operation of the solar farm.
With the influx of contractors and other workers, Benger and its surrounding districts (such as Harvey and Bunbury) will see opportunities for commercial expansion. There will be a greater necessity for an ongoing workforce and new businesses to be opened to satisfy the increased population demand during the development, construction and operational phases of the solar farm. Some of the businesses may include, but are not limited to:
- Grocery stores
- Petrol stations
- Tool and equipment suppliers
- Vehicle service stations
- Transportation, and many more.
The local community may also see an increase in tourism from visitors that are interested to see the new solar farm. Due to the addition of the proposed solar farm, environmentalists, researchers and even educational school tours are likely to visit the Shire of Harvey, creating a solid stream of tourism and growth for the entire region.
Community Investment Program
At South Energy, we are grateful for the support of the local community and would like to give something tangible back through our Community Investment Program. This program is designed to support community groups, organisations or solo projects that will benefit local people of the Shire of Harvey.
In this program, a portion of the project’s revenue will be allocated for community use annually, as a token of South Energy’s commitment to the community throughout the life of the project. The fund will be managed locally – where possible – together with community representatives once the solar farm is in operation.
Further information on this program will become available as the project progresses.