300 Kw Solar Farm – Epsom Bendigo
Bendigo Community Solar Farm
Under the Community Power Hub Bendigo program, the Bendigo Sustainability Group (BSG) is looking to develop a community solar farm in central Victoria with a 2 MW solar array. The sizing of the farm at 2 MWp has been selected so that solar farms can be flexibly located on the Powercor 22 kV transmission network and such a farm would be capable of producing the equivalent electricity used by 650 households. Our community solar farm is intended to be a model from which many others can follow.
The project would be developed for and on behalf of the community with a local entity established to manage the design, construction and ongoing operation of the solar farm(s).
Our vision is that over a period of time a series of similar small community solar farms would be developed within the City of Greater Bendigo, across central Victoria and the State.
Local Investment and Retail Electricity Offering
We want local people to invest in and own the community solar farms. Thus income generated will remain in the local region, providing local employment and increasing prosperity. Community solar farms will reduce carbon emissions from our electricity used and move us towards a clean renewable energy future.
We are working towards an arrangement with a Victorian based electricity retailer whereby both solar farm investors and the local community will be able to buy the locally generated electricity from the solar farm.
Land Siting for Community Solar Farms
We don’t yet know if the community solar farm can be made economically achievable in the near future however to maximize chances of success we wish to:
- Secure legal access to multiple suitable land sites; and
- Gain Powercor connection approvals for those sites.
Thus we are currently seeking expressions of interest to lease 6 to 10 hectares of land that meets specific criteria for suitable potential solar farm sites (refer below). This will include that neighbours are, or will be, supportive of such a community energy project.
For a small number of select land sites deemed suitable we would, subject to mutual agreement, enter into an option to lease which would be accompanied by a non-refundable payment of $1,000 to the landholder.
Should a lease, of likely 25 years with further options to extend, be enacted over the land, annual lease payments would be made at rates to be agreed depending on the value of the land. As a very rough general guide only, lease payments could be in the order of $500 to $1,500 per hectare per year.
Please refer to the attached explanatory document regarding requirements for land.
Expressions of interest for land can be made via this form but please ensure to read carefully the explanatory document first: