Australia, Renewables, Solar

677,000 panels and 22,000 sheeps, farm goes solar in Tassie

The O’Connors, a prominent farming family in Tasmania, are poised to undertake a groundbreaking project— a vast 600-hectare solar farm, featuring 677,000 solar panels alongside 22,000 sheep in the paddocks.

Situated on Connorville Station in Northern Midlands, Tasmania, this ambitious solar farm project has achieved unanimous approval from the Northern Midlands Council, propelling it into the next phase of development.

In collaboration with TasRex, the state-owned energy company, the O’Connor family aims to contribute a substantial 288 megawatts of electricity to Tasmania’s grid, sufficient to power approximately 70,000 homes.

Connorville Station, as per an official statement, is uniquely suited for both large-scale energy projects and traditional agricultural activities, with its size, location, and topographical conditions deemed ideal for the solar farm and associated infrastructure.

The Northern Midlands Solar Farm is positioned as a crucial player in Tasmania’s transition to renewable energy, promising to bolster the state’s economic prosperity. The integration of battery storage ensures the release of energy into the grid during peak demand, contributing to a more reliable and affordable power supply.

According to Bess Clark, the chief executive of TasRex, the project would not only provide Tasmania’s electricity grid, but also reduce the reliance on energy exchanges with mainland Australia and supporting local solar projects.

“At the moment, we exchange energy with mainland Australia sometimes to bring in solar from mainland Australia. We’ll be supporting Tasmanian load with local solar as well, with projects like this.”

“We’ve got an ambition to have up to 5 gigawatts of renewables. And that includes onshore solar, onshore wind and offshore wind,” Clark said.

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