Harvey is the Ideal Location for a Solar Farm
Benger Solar Farm will be located around 15km south of Harvey, and 20 km north-east of Bunbury, the 3rd largest city in Western Australia. Covering approximately 187 hectares of land, the solar farm will be in a prime location to have excellent exposure to Western Australia’s solar resources.
Why at Benger?
There are many reasons why Benger has been chosen as the site for our proposed solar farm. Some of these include:
- The terrain has already been predominantly cleared and the surface is mostly even;
- It’s in an excellent position to take full advantage of Western Australia’s solar resources;
- There are ideal site access points connecting to Campbell Road and the South Western Highway, one of the region’s key distributor roads, via Marriott Road;
- The visual impact of the solar farm upon the community is kept to a minimum due to natural screening provided by adjoining agricultural farmlands surrounding the site; and
- High voltage electricity infrastructure is closeby and facilitates straightforward connection to the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM).
In Western Australia, the majority of electricity is generated using coal and gas, with smaller amounts coming from diesel and renewable sources (wind, solar and landfill gas). However, due to well publicised environmental, health and safety concerns, there are plans to gradually shut down the operations of these ageing power stations.
To cope with the potential shortfalls in energy capacity associated with these closures, and to ensure energy security for future generations, new forms of modern and cleaner energy sources are urgently needed.
For this reason, the Australian government has announced initiatives to encourage investment into the development of renewable energy projects. The Federal Government is aiming for 23.5 per cent of Australia’s total energy usage to be from renewable energy by the year 2020. Other projects (like the Western Australian Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy) and further infrastructure development in the South West Interconnected System (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.
When it comes to meeting renewable energy targets, European countries, including Germany and the UK, have been leading by example, showing the world that it is indeed possible to switch to 100 per cent renewable power in a manner that is both viable and realistic. With its sunny plains and windy coastlines, Australia is in the box seat to join these nations in leading the way for clean energy.