The knock-on effect of the Coronavirus on Australia’s renewable energy industry is starting to reveal itself, with the likely approval of a 200MW solar farm proposed for north-western Victoria delayed by at least one month after the postponement of a council meeting.
The $300 million Raywood solar farm, proposed by emerging renewables developer South Energy, was due to be reviewed by the Loddon Shire Council on Tuesday, but the meeting was adjourned in line with state government restrictions designed to limit the spread of Covid-19.
As Solar Quotes picked up, a green light for the project appeared to be “tantalisingly close,” with the agenda for the postponed meeting recommending Council should “resolve to grant a planning permit” for use and development of land for a solar farm.
The Raywood project, which would include a 20MW/20MWh battery storage facility, is one of five South Energy has planned for Victoria, according to its website, with another four solar farms ranging from 75MW to 190MW in the works, totalling just under 500MW.
Raywood, which would be situated around 20km north-west of Bendigo would be installed on 290 hectares of land cleared for wheat and canola cropping and sheep grazing, with a high voltage electricity power line already installed.
The development application received a detailed objection from the Cambell’s Forest and District Community Action Planning Group, which objected to almost every aspect of the project and claimed “the feeling was the community would not benefit from (the solar farm) in any way.”
South Energy says it plans to commence construction of the Raywood project in late 2020 and be fully operational by late 2022. The next Loddon Shire Council meeting is scheduled for April 28.