"A project that is likely the biggest combined agri-solar and battery storage
project in Australia – the Blind Creek solar farm near Bungendore – has
received planning approval from the NSW state government.
Blind Creek is a joint venture of Octopus Australia and the Clean Energy
Finance Corporation, and will combine up to 350MW of solar PV and up to 300MW
and two hours (600MWh) of battery storage.
It is located on pastoral land around 8kms north of Bungendore, and not far
from the Capital and Woodlawn wind farms.
Its founders – local farmers – intend to create a landmark project that also
combines “organic grass-fed lambs, regenerative agriculture, a soil carbon
sequestration project and restoration of biodiversity.”
The project will connect into a strong part of the existing high voltage
network – it already has a 330kV line running through the property – and its
developers expect to use the combination of solar and storage to write
“innovative” power purchase agreements “shaped to the usage” of major energy
Development consent has been obtained from the NSW Department of Planning and
Environment, the third major planning approval announced in a week, and since
renewable energy developers expressed concerns at the lack of approvals from
the state government in recent years.
It also comes just a few days after NSW Farmers – a lobby group – called for a
ban on new solar farm approvals on agricultural land, and as former National
Party leader Barnaby Joyce called on farmers to protest against the “onslaught”
of solar, wind and transmission projects.
The Blind Creek project, however, illustrates just why many farmers are strong
supporters of renewable project, particularly if they can be integrated into
the farmland activities."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics