South Energy have reached another milestone in the development process of proposed plans to build a 100MW solar farm in Benger, paving the way for the South West of WA to catch up to the other states embracing solar and reach its announced Energy Transformation Target.
The Benger Solar Farm is proposed for about 180 hectares of land just off Campbell Road about 15 kilometres out of Harvey, where the Shire Council first voted to advertise the proposal for public comment in September 2019. Subject to various conditions, the application was approved and deemed appropriate for the area on December 2nd by the Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel.
It will feature 265,000 solar panels, mounted on single-axis trackers allowing them to follow the sun, and a substation including a potential battery energy storage system, a car park and office. The energy will go into the Western Power network and wholesale electricity market and be sufficient to power approximately 35,000 homes with clean energy, the equivalent in displacing 210,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually if generated by fossil-fuels.
One of the great things about the South-West of WA is that there’s a lot of electrical transmission infrastructure so renewable projects can be integrated more easily and gives opportunity to the community for jobs in construction and ongoing maintenance.
In the meantime, South Energy continues to work with Western Power in relation to its grid connection application. Assuming that the project gains all the necessary approvals in future, South Energy intends commencing construction in late 2021, with full commercial operations to commence by the end of 2022.