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Victoria green lights six solar farms and four big batteries

https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2022/10/07/victoria-green-lights-six-solar-farms-and-four-big-batteries/

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The Victorian government announced today that six large-scale energy generation and storage projects have been successful under the state’s second renewable energy target auction (VRET2). Together, the projects will generate nearly 1,460 GWh of new renewable energy per year, the equivalent of powering 300,000 homes.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the successful projects will play a key role in fulfilling the government’s commitment to source 100% renewable electricity for its own operations by 2025. The goal includes powering every government school, hospital as well as Melbourne’s entire metropolitan train network with renewably generated electricity.

“We’re powering every government building with cheap, clean renewable energy – boosting investment in the state by over a billion dollars and creating hundreds of jobs as we combat climate change,” she said.

“Victoria is the nation’s clean energy powerhouse, cutting emissions by more than any other state, tripling the amount of renewable energy and creating thousands of jobs.”

The successful projects include the 150 MW second stage of France-based Total Eren’s 200 MW Kiamal Solar Farm being developed near Ouyen in western Victoria. The project also includes a 150 MW/300 MWh battery energy storage system.

The 102 MW Glenrowan Solar Farm being developed by Pacific Partnerships, a subsidiary of the Sydney-headquartered construction and engineering firm Cimic Group, in Victoria’s northeast was also successful as was Melbourne-based South Energy’s 77 MW Frasers Solar Farm being developed north of Traralgon in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley in the state’s east.

The 118.8 MW Horsham Solar Farm and associated 50 MW/100 MWh battery energy storage system being developed by Melbourne-based Esco Pacific east of Horsham in the state’s west also received the tick of approval.

Other successful projects include the 95 MW Derby Solar Project and co-located 85 MW/100 MWh big battery being developed by Sungrow Renewable Energy in the state’s central north, and Octopus Investments’ 80 MW Fulham Solar Farm and 80 MW/100 MWh DC-coupled battery being developed in eastern Victoria.

The Four successful battery projects total 600 MWh storage capacity – approximately 1.3 times the size of the Victorian Big Battery.

Image: Energy Victoria

D’Ambrosio said the projects will help meet Victoria’s legislated renewable energy targets of 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 and will also help satisfy the state’s new renewable energy storage target of at least 2.6 GW of energy storage capacity by 2030 and 6.3 GW of storage by 2035.

The four successful battery projects will double the state’s current storage with 365 MW and 600 MWh of dispatchable energy for the grid – which is equal to the capacity of all the big batteries installed in Victoria today.

This additional battery storage will help manage network constraints, enhance grid stability, and help lower electricity prices by dispatching renewable energy during high price periods, D’Ambrosio said.

The projects, which will be developed across four Victorian Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in Western Victoria, the Murray River, Central North and Gippsland, are expected to support 920 direct jobs, create around 290 positions for apprentices, trainees and cadets and deliver $1.48 billion in investment.

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