Goorambat Solar Farm is a
utility-scale renewable energy project.

Covering approximately 130 hectares of farmland, Goorambat Solar Farm is a utility-scale renewable energy project that is located within a short distance to the main township of Goorambat, Victoria.

With an estimated network capacity of 75 megawatts, Goorambat Solar Farm is expected to generate enough clean power for approximately 24,300 households and help Australia to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 143,000 tonnes per year.

The project is expected to commence construction in late 2020 and be fully operational by late 2021.

Proposed Capacity:
75 MWac
Household Powered:
24,300
CO2 Avoided:
143,000 t/Year
Investment:
$120 million
Expected Operation in:
Late 2021
Operation Life
30 years

Solar Farm
Design

Goorambat Solar Farm will comprise solar panels similar to those found on ordinary residential homes. Individual panels will be approximately 1m wide by 2m high and will be attached to single axis tracking systems that follow the sun from east to west, maximising sun exposure and power production.

Raised approximately 2m above the ground, the panels will be between 2 and 4m high, with maximum height reached early and late in the day, when the panels are tilted to capture the sun at its lowest. To avoid shading and enable access, the tracking systems will be spaced approximately 8m apart, which means they will only cover about half of the available land.

These large gaps between the solar panels (not to mention the 2m of space beneath them) can be put to agricultural uses such as sheep grazing. This practice has become commonplace globally, with sheep thriving in the sheltered conditions.

A landscape buffer will be provided along the project boundary to protect the area’s visual amenity. Landscaping will include a mix of indigenous shrubs and trees of varied heights and will have the added benefit of creating important new habitats for native fauna, thus supporting the region’s biodiversity.

The solar farm will be set back from the boundary. This includes landscape buffering and an additional firebreak, which will double as an internal access track.

How Will The
Project Operate?

Goorambat Solar Farm will feature solar panels similar to those typically fixed on houses. However, solar panels will instead be fixed to moveable single-axis tracking structures that rotate slowly to follow the sun’s movement from east to west. This technology allows the panels to perform at their maximum efficiency during daylight hours.

Electricity generated from the panels will be transferred to inverters that convert Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC), and then to transformers that increase its voltage to a suitable level for supply into the electricity grid and to the National Energy Market (NEM). The NEM currently supports approximately 80% of Australia’s electricity usage and is one of the largest electrical networks in the world.

Our
Approach

Goorambat Solar Farm will support the environment and empower the local community. In order to ensure all opinions and ideas from the local area are heard and considered, we have continued to conduct in-depth consultations with nearby residents, community groups, relevant authorities, the Council and other stakeholders.

In addition to extensive consultations, we have also carefully considered how to mitigate potential impacts on the community by undertaking a wide range of engineering studies and thorough environmental assessments. This includes studies on:

  • Ensuring that the development benefits the municipality in the long term;
  • Protecting local ecology by managing environmental risks;
  • Surface water evaluations to ensure the integrity of the existing watercourse;
  • Visual landscaping and using vegetation as natural screening from the surrounding area.

Project
Timeline

Action Timing
Commence consultation and landowner agreement Ongoing
Submit Development Application to The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Approved
Commence construction (subject to Department approval) Late 2020
Goorambat Solar Farm operational Late 2021
Reinstall full agricultural use or, if permitted, upgrade solar farm equipment 2050-2055