Octopus Australia and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) are joining forces to develop renewable energy assets that will help the Gippsland region power its transition into a green superpower.
The landmark joint venture will help accelerate the delivery of both the proposed 44 MWac Perry Bridge solar farm and 80 MWac Fulham solar farm in Gippsland.
The Perry Bridge solar farm received planning approval from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on April 15, 2021, while the Fulham solar farm planning process is currently underway.
Octopus Australia and the CEFC have purchased the rights to develop the projects from local Gippsland based developer Solis Re, and the three parties will be working together to bring the projects to financial close.
When constructed, the Perry Bridge and Fulham solar projects will be a boost to the local economy of the Victorian region which is still recovering from recent bushfires, drought and the decline of local industries including timber and coal-based generation.
The projects offer an exciting new pathway for the Gippsland community to benefit from the clean energy economy. They are also expected to showcase the ability of sheep grazing and solar farming to co-exist, providing a diversified revenue stream to local landholders.
The development, construction and operation of the two solar farms are expected to create over 250 direct jobs during the construction period. Further employment will be generated for local businesses who will soon be able to register their interest to fill a wide range of services needed to support the developments.
Octopus Australia’s Managing Director, Sam Reynolds, said Gippsland has its roots in the electricity industry, and these projects help the region continue that journey.
“As the first renewable energy projects to be built at scale in the region, the Perry Bridge and Fulham solar farms symbolise how the region can be transformed into a green energy powerhouse for the 21st century,” Mr Reynolds said.
“Through its investments, the CEFC has helped Australia’s renewable energy sector achieve rapid growth in recent years, delivering substantial amounts of clean energy across Australia. This experience will be critical as we develop these renewable energy assets for Gippsland.”
With the early retirement of the Yallourn coal-fired power station being recently announced, the nearby Perry Bridge and Fulham developments form part of the suite of new energy generation that will be required to replace this asset.