The solar arm of global oil giant BP is cementing its position as one of the biggest utility-scale PV project developers in Australia, as it moves ahead on plans to build a 550MW solar farm with a 260MW/520MWh big battery in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales.
The Goulburn River solar farm is proposed for construction by Lightsource bp on private farmland south of the town of Merriwa, and will be designed to accommodate ongoing sheep grazing among the panels.
Lightsource – BP’s joint venture with UK solar company Lightsource – expects to lodge formal planning applications for the project later this year after completing preliminary assessments, site design and community consultation.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) referral for the project was opened to public comment earlier this month.
According to project documents, the solar farm would comprise around 950,000 bifacial solar modules in an east-west single-axis tracking arrangement sitting about 5 metres above ground level – to make room for the sheep.
More: Oil giant venture forges ahead with another big solar and battery project in NSW