Environmental Benefits of The Project

One of the biggest challenges we face today as a society is climate change and the risks are not only affecting us locally but on a global scale. If we are to combat this challenge, then we must work together towards a better and cleaner future.

The West Mokoan Solar Farm is a solid step in the right direction in mitigating the effects, as it will ensure that thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases are avoided each year. These emissions can be chalked up to be the equivalent of thousands upon thousands of cars being driven annually.

At full capacity, West Mokoan Solar Farm is expected to:

  • Power approximately 68,000 homes
  • Reduce 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year

Relevant Policy

The Australian Government is dedicated and committed to moving towards a sustainable future. A target for renewable energy generation of 23.5% by 2020 is set on a national scale. The Victorian Government is committed to a target of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025. The Victorian Government is now in the process of increasing its target to 50 per cent by 2030. The new solar farm at West Mokoan will go a long way in aiding both Victoria and Australia in reaching their targets.

Sources

https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/victorias-renewable-energy-targets
https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/renewable-energy-target-scheme

WHAT IS 400,000 TONNES OF GREENHOUSE EQUIVALENT TO?

emission-house

Emission from approximately 68,000 households’ electricity use for a year

passenger-vehicle

Taking approximately 85,500 passenger vehicles off the road each year

coal-burned

Approximately 198,000 tonnes of coal burned to generate the same amount of electricity displaced by the solar farm

Employment Opportunities

The construction of a solar farm is a huge undertaking and will require hundreds of workers performing various jobs across multiple stages of its construction. Some of the fields include:

  • Civil works
  • Concrete and steel works
  • Electrical works
  • Fencing and landscaping
  • Transportation, and more.

The project will take around 12-18 months of full-time construction, creating approximately 300 jobs for the local region. Once the solar farm is in operation, up to 6 permanent staff will be required to ensure optimal and efficient operation of the solar farm. In addition to this, there will also be opportunities for local contractors to be engaged at various points in the solar farm’s long life.

Business Opportunities

With the influx of contractors and other workers, West Mokoan and the surrounding Benalla district are expected to see opportunities for commercial expansion and new business establishment in order to keep up with the demand during the development, construction and operational phases of the solar farm. Some of the businesses include, but are not limited to:

  • Accommodation
  • Eateries such as pubs and cafes
  • Grocery stores
  • Petrol Stations
  • Tool and equipment suppliers
  • Vehicle service stations
  • Transportation, and many more.

Solar farms are a modern marvel, so tourism may also increase as new visitors are attracted to the region. People such as environmentalists, researchers and even educational school tours are likely to visit West Mokoan with the addition of the new solar farm – creating a solid stream of tourists for the farm’s operational life.

Did You Know?

  • As at 15 March 2019, more than 13,000 Australians were employed in the large-scale renewable energy sector, with this number expected to climb. Not only are these jobs crucial to rural communities, but their positive flow-on effect is felt through local supply chains.
  • West Mokoan Solar Farm will bring more than 300 jobs to the region, reducing local unemployment and diversifying Benalla’s economy in the process.

Community Investment Program

South Energy is genuinely grateful for the Benalla and Winton community and would like to give something back through a more tangible gesture – the community investment program. This program is designed to support community groups, organisations or solo projects that benefit the local people.

In this program, a portion of the project’s revenue will be allocated for community use. The fund will be an annual commitment throughout the entire life of the project and 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.