Environmental Benefits of The Project
One of the biggest challenges we face today as a society is climate change. The risks are not only affecting us locally – they are also on a global scale. To combat this, at South Energy we believe we must work towards a better, cleaner and more sustainable future.
The Frasers Solar Farm is a solid step in the right direction in mitigating the effects of climate change, such as droughts and wild weather, as experienced by many parts of Australia. The solar farm will power approximately 25,000 homes and help offset about 157,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. These emissions are equivalent to taking about 33,000 cars off the roads annually.
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.
The construction of a solar farm is a huge undertaking and is expected to create approximately 250 jobs (direct & indirect) across multiple stages of its development & construction. Some of the fields include:
- Civil works
- Electrical works
- Mechanical works
- Concreting & steel works
- Fencing and landscaping
- Transportation, and more
The project will take around 12 months of full-time construction. Once the farm is completed, it is estimated that there will be approximately 4 permanent, full-time positions and additional contract positions available to ensure optimal, efficient and safe operation of the solar farm in the next 25-30 years. The jobs created will help to strengthen and diversify the economy, providing growth to the skilled workforce and economic output of the municipality. Materials and resources from the local area will be utilised where possible.
With the influx of contractors and other workers, Frasers and the surrounding Toongabbie and Glengarry districts will see opportunities for commercial expansion. There will be a greater demand for businesses to satisfy the increased population demand during the development, construction and operational phases of the solar farm. Some of the businesses include, but are not limited to:
- Eateries & catering
- Grocery stores
- Petrol stations
- Tool and equipment supplies
- Vehicle service stations
- Uniform & cleaning supplies, and many more.
The local community may also see an increase in eco-tourism, as visitors such as environmentalists, researchers and even educational school tours are likely to visit the local area with the addition of the proposed solar farm, creating a solid stream of tourists for the region as well as promoting an environmental friendly living style.
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.
- Frasers Solar Farm will bring more than 250 jobs to the region, reducing local unemployment and diversifying Gippsland’s economy in the process.
- The skills and resources required to develop and operate Frasers Solar Farm are an ideal match for those existing in the Latrobe/Wellington area, where approximately 28 per cent of the workforce are technician and trade workers and 22 per cent of businesses are associated with construction, transport and warehousing.
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 the local people of Latrobe Valley.
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 (i.e. a 25-30 years commitment). 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.