Boggabilla solar farm construction underway is local first

Regional NSW will soon have a new solar farm with construction underway on the 'Latitude Solar Farm', supported with grant funding from the NSW Government's Regional Community Energy Fund.

Solar panels at Moree Solar Farm. Moree, NSW

Byron Bay Solar Farm Holdings (BBSFH) was granted $3.5 million from the fund to build a 4.99 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) and 4.99 MW/10 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system capable of powering around 2311 homes for the next 30 years.

The Community Owned Renewable Energy project at Boggabilla in Moree Plains Shire is a positive sustainability project for the region as it will generate around 13,500 MWh per year of clean, renewable energy, or enough electricity to power over 2,300 homes.

This clean energy will be delivered via the Essential Energy network to homes and businesses both during the day and at other times when the sun is not shining, by utilising the new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

The innovative project uses the trademarked PEG substructure technology from the company Jurgen Tech. This simple framing technology allows installers to place solar panels on the PEG frame and secure them with a simple Hex/Allen key, keeping deployment costs down. The PEG framing technology uses less steel and concrete in construction than many traditional solar farms which helps reduce embodied carbon content of the end-to-end project.

The BESS will likely be one of the first to be deployed on the Essential Energy network. Engineering and project teams supporting the Latitude Solar Farm are also learning how to build clean energy systems, leveraging these skills into other clean energy projects in NSW and beyond.

Latitude Solar Farm is also one of the first renewable energy projects in the Essential Energy network which will operate within an agreed voltage range. As a result, grid stability will be improved and more stable power will be supplied into homes and businesses across Regional NSW.

Jobs with the Latitude project in the Moree Plains Shire will include about 8 part-time local jobs during construction. They will help build the frame and secure the solar panels, assemble the battery and mobilise the site.

Additionally, there will be at least another 5-10 skilled electrical engineering jobs to build the high voltage side of the plant.

Latitude Solar Farm is currently procuring all accommodation, hire equipment such as cranes and generators and also procuring consumables in the local community. This includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), food, tools and other electrical equipment.

The Regional Community Energy Fund is a $20 million fund under the Regional Community Energy program. The fund is designed to support capital expenditure for innovative and/or dispatchable renewable community energy projects and benefit the local community.