The Dunedoo Solar Farm proposal site is located approximately 2 kilometres north of the township of Dunedoo and approximately 77 kilometres north east of the city of Dubbo, within the Warrumbungle Local Government Area.
The proposed Dunedoo Solar Farm would have a capacity of approximately 66 MW (DC) and would include:
Additional electrical transmission infrastructure would be required to connect the solar panel infrastructure to an existing substation on the northern side of Dunedoo township.
The site would be accessed from Allweather Road, that runs east to west across the site. Allweather Road meets the Castlereagh Highway to the west of the site, providing access to the region’s transport network. The majority of heavy vehicle deliveries to the site would use the Golden Highway (via Bolaro Street), the Castlereagh Highway and Allweather Road.
The site was selected because it provides a combination of:
The map (left) illustrates the site boundary [red] with the solar array area [green], subject to detailed environmental investigations. The blue line illustrates the proposed transmission line route to the Dunedoo substation.
The site is of a scale that allows for flexibility in the design, allowing ib vogt to avoid ecological and other constraints which may be identified during the environmental assessment process.
The solar arrays would consist of solar PV panels (photovoltaics) similar to those installed throughout Australia on residential and commercial properties.
The panels would sit on steel frames attached to pile driven supports that will create minimal disturbance to the land. This will allow sheep to continue to graze in and around them once the solar farm is operational.
There would also be battery storage capability to enable energy generated during the day to be stored for later use (during the evening peak period and when the electrical grid network most needs it).
The Commonwealth Government cites electricity generation as the largest individual contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol. These agreements commit Australia to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Both the NSW and Australian Governments have developed renewable energy targets.
The Dunedoo Solar Farm would contribute to the Commonwealth Government’s objective to achieve an additional 33GW of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 under the Renewable Energy Target.
The COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, achieved a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C, chiefly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Dunedoo Solar Farm would form part of the Australian effort to help meet this target.
The Dunedoo Solar Farm would contribute to the New South Wales Renewable Energy Action Plan, which supports the national target of 20% renewable energy by 2020.
AEMO forecasts that grid-supplied electricity consumption will remain flat for the next 20 years, despite projected 30% growth in population. Although not required to meet projected electricity demand, the proposal would benefit the network by shifting electricity production closer to local consumption, and regulating inputs to the grid using an Energy Storage Facility.
The Energy Storage Facility would be capable of storing energy for release when the use or cost is beneficial. The facility would be approximately 12-15 MW rated capacity, provided by banks of lithium-ion batteries. The facility would provide network services including ‘energy smoothing’ and frequency control integration and improved reliability as well as energy arbitrage. ‘Energy arbitrage’ is the price mechanism allowing energy to be stored during periods of low demand and then discharged during periods of high demand.
The solar farm would generate around 100 direct jobs during construction, as well as indirect supply chain jobs. In addition, it would employ approximately 2-3 full time staff during the operation and maintenance phase (expected to be 25-30 years).
The employment benefits extend through the local supply chains to fuel supply, vehicle servicing, uniform suppliers, hotels/motels, B&B’s, cafés, pubs, catering and cleaning companies, tradespersons, tool and equipment suppliers and many other businesses.