News

Solar farm at Drumanure opens to offset Melbourne tram network

By Country News

The Goulburn Valley officially has the largest solar farm in Victoria after a nine-month construction period.

The Numurkah Solar Farm, which sits on 515ha of land about 5km east of Wunghnu, was opened on Friday.

Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica said the Numurkah Solar Farm was a promising addition to the shire.

‘‘For this to be the biggest in the state and have it in the Moira Shire, we as councillors approved it because we wanted it to happen within our shire,’’ Cr Mustica said.

‘‘What makes this great is, it’s more than a $140million investment and to have it in our shire is wonderful.

‘‘I don’t know how many local people would’ve been employed but it would have been substantial.

‘‘It doesn’t matter where power goes providing it’s generated into the system.’’

The $198million solar farm is almost 75 per cent functional and is expected to be fully operational in four weeks.

Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the solar farm would play an important role for the government’s 2030 renewable energy target.

‘‘This is (a) fantastic project that has been made possible by the Victorian Government backing,’’ Ms D’Ambrosio said.

‘‘When we provide the certainty for investors to actually put their dollar into the state, we can see fantastic projects being built.

‘‘We can see globally there are billions of dollars of investment that are looking for places to invest because of our government’s strong Victorian Renewable Energy Targets.’’

Representatives from the French company that owns the farm, Neoen, constructor Downer, Cr Mustica and Ms D’Ambrosio attended the opening.

The Numurkah Solar Farm is one of two solar farms supplying 100 per cent renewable energy to offset Melbourne’s entire tram network.

The facility will generate about 250000 megawatt hours of electricity into the national power grid each year.

Neoen is also constructing solar farms in Coleambally, Griffith, Parkes and Dubbo in NSW, and has proposed sites at Lemnos and Goorambat.