News

Green light for Cohuna solar farm

By Country News

Construction on a solar farm at Cohuna will begin next year as part of the Victorian Government’s renewable energy target.

The farm is one of six solar and wind projects statewide that has been given the green light by the Victorian Government.

Gannawarra Shire Council said the 34MW solar farm on Leitchville-Kerang Rd, Horfield was one of seven proposed farms for the local area.

‘‘This is another positive step forward in diversifying the Gannawarra economy and aligns with council’s strategic commitment to renewable energy,’’ Gannawarra Shire acting chief executive Geoff Rollinson said.

‘‘It’s hoped with the construction of new solar and wind farms, Victorian homes and businesses will start to see the benefits of reduced power prices.

‘‘The Cohuna solar farm will create a number of employment opportunities and will be a major boost for the local accommodation, retail and construction sectors.’’

About 87000 solar panels will be installed at the Cohuna solar farm which has recently been acquired by major Italian company ENEL.

Construction is set to begin in the first half of 2019.

The six new wind and solar farms across Victoria are estimated to generate enough energy to power 640000 homes and drive a 16 per cent reduction in Victoria’s electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2034-35.

‘‘It’s simple — greater supply of renewable energy means lower power prices and more jobs for Victorian families,’’ Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.

As part of the target, one of the proposed solar farms at Winton is also set to go ahead.

The other locations are:

■Dundonnell wind farm, north-east of Warrnambool;

■Berrybank wind farm, west of Geelong;

■Mortlake South wind farm; and

■Carwarp solar farm, south of Mildura.

■For more information, visit: energy.vic.gov.au

■For a map of solar farms across the region, see page 26.

—Lachie Durling