Winton solar farm construction commences

By Simon Ruppert

Construction on a new solar farm near Winton has started after the developer secured financing for the 85MW project.

The company behind the project is FRV Services Australia (FRV), a leading global developer of renewable energy projects, which is embarking on its first solar development in Victoria.

The Winton Solar Farm project will boost the local economy by creating about 150 construction jobs, additional investment in local services, and will provide a new source of clean energy to the region’s growing population.

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The project received development approval in January 2018.

Following a 2018 public tender process, Winton Solar Farm was also awarded a 15-year support agreement by the Victorian Government for clean energy generated by the project.

The tender was part of the government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to source 25 per cent of its electricity production from renewables by 2020 increasing to 50 per cent by 2030.

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Involvement of neighbours and the wider community has been key during the planning of the project.

Design and layout of the solar farm has been in strict accordance with local planning laws and has specifically aimed to protect the amenity of nearby residents.

Additionally, as part of its Winton Solar Farm "social impact strategy", FRV has developed local funding plans to provide sustainable returns and benefits to the local area.

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FRV Australia managing director Carlo Frigerio highlighted the importance of Australia as part of FRV’s expansion plans.

“Australia remains a key market for FRV's strategy and once again, this is demonstrated by the financial closure of our sixth project here,” Mr Frigerio said.

“We are delighted to support the achievement of Victoria’s renewable energy targets of 25 per cent renewable energy generation by 2020, rising to 40 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030.

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“We are also excited about our relationship with the local Winton and Benalla communities, which will be fundamental for the successful implementation of this project.”