The Riverina could soon become a hub for renewable energy after Wagga has attracted yet another proposal for a local solar farm project.
Members of the community have been invited to attend two information sessions about a brand new solar farm project in Gregadoo.
The new solar farm has been proposed by Green Switch Australia, a Queensland-based renewable energy company, for the corner of Redbank Road and Boiling Down Road.
Managing director of Wagga renewable energy company Solarwise Alex Manley said renewable energy projects can only be good news for Wagga.
“The energy market is interesting – it can go up and down depending on the demand and how much energy is on the network, but a solar farm like this will feed more energy into the market, which will put a downward pressure on the wholesale price,” Mr Manley said.
“So it’ll have a flow-on effect on energy prices because we won’t just be relying on four or five solar generators in the Hunter Valley anymore – it will create pressure on the overall market, which will be beneficial for everyone.”
This comes at a time when energy prices are more crippling than ever, with a 2016 report by St Vincent De Paul revealing that Wagga ranked 22nd in the state for electricity disconnections due to unpaid power bills.
The Gregadoo project would mark yet another significant renewable energy project set for Wagga, after a multi-million dollar solar farm was approved for Bomen in September.
Mayor Greg Conkey, who has long been passionate about renewable energy, said Wagga City Council would be open to supporting more solar projects.
“We've certainly got to look at solar farms – it's the way of the future, and I think we need to reduce our dependency on coal powered systems,” Cr Conkey said.
“We need to reduce our reliance on large power stations, especially the coal-powered stations, so there's more and more of these solar farms being set up around the state and more and more people putting solar panels on their roofs to reduce their reliance on the grid.”
Cr Conkey also said the council is continuing to look for other ways to reduce its own energy footprint.
This week’s community information sessions will be held at the Lake Albert Community Centre on Tuesday at 6pm and Thursday at 12pm.
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