Benalla is the ideal location for a solar farm
West Mokoan Solar Farm will be located around 8km north east of the Benalla township in Victoria. Covering approximately 470 hectares of land, the solar farm will be in a prime location to have excellent exposure to northern Victoria’s solar resources.
WHY AT BENALLA?
There are many reasons why Benalla has been chosen as an idea location for solar farming. Some of the reasons include:
- The terrain has a mostly even surface that has been predominantly cleared for agriculture in the past;
- Perfect position to take full advantage of the sun’s rays;
- Ideal accessibility points on site connecting to Benalla-Yarrawonga Road and then to Hume Freeway;
- Visual impact of the farm on the community is kept to a minimum due to surrounding and adjoining agricultural farmlands providing natural screening.
- High voltage electricity powerlines are nearby and can be easily utilised for smooth connection to the Glenrowan to Shepparton 220kV transmission line and thus the National Electricity Market (NEM).
Most of the electricity supplied to Victorian households comes from coal ﬁred power stations in the Latrobe Valley. 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, both the Victorian and Australian governments have 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, while the State Government is committed to 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. The Victorian Government is now in the process of increasing its target to 50 per cent by 2030.
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.