Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Solar farms to benefit farmers in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo areas

solar-panels-and-moneySolar farms: ‘Farming sun, instead of wheat’  http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/solar-farms-farming-sun-instead-of-wheat/news-story/339cad050ebf0e75d5eb373eeed8d160 KATH SULLIVAN, The Weekly Times March 2, 2017

THREE solar farms with the ability to generate enough electricity to power Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo will be built in northwest Victoria this year.

A $500 million investment by Australian-owned Overland Sun Farming and ­London-based Island Green Power will see construction at Wemen, Iraak and Yatpool.

Two hundred jobs are expected to be created in the construction phase, which will begin in the second quarter.

Each solar farm is expected to begin producing energy from January 1 next year.

Overland chief executive Brett Thomas said he had worked with landholders and local government for three years to develop the plans.

He said each farm would cover up to 300ha, with farmers paid for use of the land — typically wheat and grazing country — for up to 30 years. “It provides a strong off-farm income for farmers,” Mr Thomas said, likening the project to primary production.“We’re farming sun, instead of wheat,” he said.

Mr Thomas described the technology as “relatively simple, the same as roof tops” however solar panels would use mechanical trackers to move east to west and follow the sun.

Mildura Development Corporation chair Jenny Grigg described the project as “massive” for the region.“It’s a great regional development opportunity,” Ms Grigg said.She said she expected that up to $30 million would be spent in the local economy during the construction phase of the farms.

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March 3, 2017 - Posted by | business, solar, Victoria

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