Raywood Solar Farm is a
utility-scale renewable energy project.

Located in Victoria’s Loddon Shire, the Raywood Solar Farm is a utility-scale renewable energy project that covers about 360 hectares of land.

With an estimated network capacity of 200 megawatts, the Raywood Solar Farm is expected to generate enough clean power for approximately 71,500 households. This will help Australia to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 421,000 tonnes per year.

The project is envisaged to commence construction in 2021 and be fully operational by late 2022.

Proposed Capacity
200 MWac
Households Powered
71,500
CO2 Avoided
421,000 t/Year
Investment
$300 million
Expected Operation by
Late 2022
Operation Life
30 years

Solar Farm
Design

Raywood Solar Farm will comprise solar panels similar to those found on ordinary residential homes. Individual panels will be approximately 1m wide by 2m high and will be attached to single axis tracking systems that follow the sun from east to west, maximising sun exposure and power production.

Raised approximately 2m above the ground, the panels will be between 2 and 4m high, with maximum height reached early and late in the day, when the panels are tilted to capture the sun at its lowest. To avoid shading and enable access, the tracking systems will be spaced approximately 8m apart, which means they will only cover about half of the available land.

These large gaps between the solar panels (not to mention the 2m of space beneath them) can be put to agricultural uses such as sheep grazing. This practice has become commonplace globally, with sheep thriving in the sheltered conditions.

A landscape buffer will be provided along the project boundary to protect the area’s visual amenity. Landscaping will include a mix of indigenous shrubs and trees of varied heights and will have the added benefit of creating important new habitats for native fauna, thus supporting the region’s biodiversity.

The solar farm will be set back from the boundary. This includes landscape buffering and an additional firebreak, which will double as an internal access track.

How Will The
Project Operate?

The project will involve solar panels similar to those installed for a house. However, instead of being mounted on an immoveable rooftop, all solar panels will be installed to single-axis tracking systems that rotate slowly to follow the sun’s movements from east to west. This will ensure maximum efficiency of the panels during daylight hours.

From here, electricity will be transferred to inverters to convert the Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC). Electricity will then be transformed to a suitable voltage level for supply into the existing high voltage powerline onsite that connects to the National Energy Market (NEM). The NEM supports around 80% of the entire Australian population with electricity and is one of the largest electrical networks in the world.

Our
Approach

Our focus is on empowering the community in more ways than one. That is why as part of our development process, we continue to consult with nearby residents, local organisations, the Council, relevant authorities and other stakeholders to ensure the community’s opinions and ideas are considered in our plans for the project.

Extensive engineering studies and environmental assessments have also been undertaken to ensure all potential impacts on the community are investigated and minimised. This includes (but is not limited to) assessments on:

  • Ensuring that the development benefits the municipality in the long term;
  • Protecting local ecology by managing environmental risks;
  • The visual landscaping using vegetation as natural screening from the surrounding area;
  • Protecting and maintaining existing points of cultural importance.

Project
Timeline

Action Timing
Stakeholder Engagement Ongoing
Planning Permit Application Approved
Grid Connection Application In Progress
Commence construction (subject to authority approval) 2021
Solar Farm Operation Late 2022
Reinstall full agricultural use or, if permitted, upgrade solar farm equipment 2050-2055