Victoria’s coal capital town turns into a clean energy hub

The location of Victoria’s State Coal Mine is now becoming a renewable centre because of the construction of a 30 MW South Gippsland solar farm.

The project was reported in the Bass Coast Post in April and now a video describing the project has gone live.

During its 59-year life, the State Coal Mine at Wonthaggi extracted around 17 million tons of coal. Now 100,000 solar panels and a 5 MW energy storage system will supply the local area with clean power.

In the video, former Wonthaggi Mayor Neil Rankine talks about the move as a perfect transition for the town.

The new solar farm will power Wonthaggi’s mining museum and tour center while generating enough energy for 7,200 average local households. This will give Wonthaggi back the energy security it enjoyed a century ago, Mr. Rankine says.

The $50 million project takes in 150 acres of cattle-grazing land and will revert to being a sheep grazing property once completed, building it on the old St Clair abattoir site on the Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road by APR Australian Solar.

Construction is due to start early in 2019.

According to the Bass Coast Post, APR has also announced plans for similar solar farms in Lang Lang and Maffra.

90 kW of solar panels will also be built alongside the existing state coal mine museum as part of the solar farm.

The installation will be funded by the state government’s New Energy Jobs Fund and will include 25 kWh of battery storage, according to Director of Energy Innovation Co-op (EIC) Susan Davies.

Visitors can now explore almost two kilometers of original mine workings 60 meters below the surface.


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