Latrobe Valley is an Ideal Location for a Solar Farm
Frasers Solar Farm will be located around 2km south of Toongabbie, one of the main towns in the Latrobe Valley region of Victoria. Covering approximately 110 hectares of land, the solar farm will be in a prime location to have excellent exposure to Victoria’s solar resources.
Why this location?
There are many reasons why this location has been chosen as the site for the proposed solar farm. Some of the reasons include:
- The terrain has a mostly even surface and has been historically cleared for grazing in the past (i.e. low environmental impacts);
- The site is of a reasonable size to achieve economies of scale for the project;
- The site is in an excellent position to take full advantage of Australia’s world class solar resource;
- The site is not in a flooding area and its geological conditions are ideal (i.e. no rock underneath the top soil);
- The site has excellent transport access to an arterial road – Traralgon-Maffra Road – with minimal impact to local roads; and
- High voltage electricity infrastructure is nearby and can be easily utilised for a straightforward connection to the Morwell-Maffra 66kV transmission network.
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.