The Weekly Advertiser

Eye on sun plant

By DEAN LAWSON
Wimmera development leaders will closely follow the progress of a major sun farm in regional NSW to explore ways the Wimmera-Mallee can adopt or develop solar technology.
Association executive director Jo Bourke said a Pacific Hydro Moree Solar Farm could potentially pave the way for similar ‘but smaller’ projects in the region.
She said the Moree farm, which won Commonwealth and NSW government funding last week, was a pilot project that would establish how well solar-based power technology could work in a regional area.
“It is certainly something we must continue to investigate in our region. Considering our electricity infrastructure and configuration we have  looked at the solar concept at a smaller scale,” she said.
“But the Moree plant will provide us with crucial information and play a role in helping us map out what we can do with alternative energy options in our region.
“What we do know is that we have a solar-energy opportunity in our region. After all, the sun is still shining .”
150 million watts
Wimmera Development Association provided regional information to tenderers as part of a national bidding process for the solar farm which Pacific Hydro has developed with consortium partners BP Solar and Fotowatia Renewable Ventures.
The Commonwealth Government is backing the farm which will cover an area of nine square kilometres, include 650,000 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels and be capable of generating  up to 150 million watts of electricity. The farm will be one of the biggest grid-connected photovaltaic installations in the world.
Mrs Bourke said the association was keen to encourage the investigation of and investment in renewable energy generation in the region. This included using the sun, wind, geothermal heat and bio-waste.
Scientists have confirmed much the Wimmera-Mallee sits above significant geothermal heat and tests are occurring across the region for the wind-power potential. Hindmarsh Shire Council has announced a desire to build a multi-million-dollar pyrolysis plant to convert household bio-waste into biodiesel.

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=5469

Posted on Jun 29 2011

Posted by on Jun 29 2011. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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