AXEDALE SOLAR FARM
UPC\AC Renewables Australia is proposing to build a 160-megawatt solar farm on a 365 hectare non-irrigated, mostly-cleared site used for sheep and cattle grazing and dry land cropping. It is located about seven kilometres north east of the small central Victorian township of Axedale, near local quarries and gold mining operations.
Rows of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will be installed on a single axis tracking system that follows the path of the sun, while also allowing adequate space for sheep to continue grazing on the land in-between and underneath the panels.
The solar farm will create up to 300 jobs during construction and produce enough clean, renewable energy to power 55,000 Victorian homes via an existing transmission line that crosses the site.
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Axedale Solar Farm Development Timeline
The project has now been granted a planning permit by the City of Greater Bendigo and Campaspe Shire Councils, with appropriate conditions on the development during construction and ongoing operation.
Protection for small parcels of remaining native vegetation and the un-named waterway which runs through the site;
Requirements to manage pests & weeds, and stormwater & erosion; and
The submission of management plans for construction, traffic management, waste, environmental risks and noise.
We have also completed a Cultural Heritage Management Plan in cooperation with the Taungurung Land and Waters Council. The plan provides guidance on measures before, during and after construction to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage on the site.
The project site comprises 365 hectares of land located approximately 7km north-east of the town of Axedale, situated within the City of Greater Bendigo and Campaspe Shire local government areas.
The mostly cleared, non-irrigated site was selected for its excellent solar exposure, flat topography, lack of environmental constraints and proximity to existing transmission infrastructure. The land has the potential for sheep grazing to continue during operations, while delivering renewable electricity directly to AusNet Service’s existing 220kV transmission lines which pass through the site.
The Axedale Solar Farm will utilise ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels similar to those used on rooftops around Australia. The PV panels will be arranged in rows spaced several metres apart, either on a fixed tilt or single axis tracking system.
Based on preliminary designs, the Axedale Solar Farm will involve:
two separate arrays of PV modules (separated by an existing unsealed road), including inverters and an underground cable network
an on-site dedicated solar farm substation to connect the project to AusNet’s electricity transmission network
several access points from the local road network and internal access tracks
stock-proof security fencing around each of the solar fields to enable safe grazing for livestock such as sheep and cattle.
UPC is also investigating a battery energy storage system as part of its technical studies. Solar combined with battery storage will form a major component of Australia’s mix of energy generation in the future.