The Australian solar arm of British oil major BP, Lightsource bp Australia (LBPA), has announced plans for a 400 MW(DC) solar farm and co-located battery energy storage system (BESS) in Gundary, 13 kilometres south of Goulburn, New South Wales (NSW).
LBPA estimates $540 million in capital investment value for the Gundary Solar Farm project which aims to generate 800,000 MWh of solar energy annually, enough to power 133,000 homes and obviate 640,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 213,000 cars off the road.
Still in its early stages of development, LBPA is now engrossed in a phase of community consultation about the project. The first opportunity for such engagement will be at the Bungonia Country Markets on 30 April. Between Q3 2022 and Q2 2023 LBPA plans to be in the EIS preparation phase.
In a community factsheet, LBPA said it expected the project to create up to 400 jobs during construction at the Gundary site, through which a 330 Kv powerline runs, enabling easy network connection.
LBPA says the project “will be assessed under the NSW State Significant Development planning and approvals pathway.” However, the project might also have to navigate some disaffected locals. According to the Goulburn Post, “Landowners southeast of Goulburn say they will fight plans for a large solar farm on ‘prime agricultural’ land.”
Lightsource BP, which is half-owned by BP, announced in 2021 that it had secured $2.5 billion in revolving credit lines from ten of the world’s biggest lenders to finance its plans to hit 25 GW of solar project capacity by 2025.
Australia is one of the company’s key markets to reach that goal. In addition to the Gundary Solar Farm, LBPA has numerous other large-scale solar projects in development, under construction, or awaiting commercial operation, including the 200 MW Wellington Solar Farm which will form part of a 600 MW solar PV hub in central-western NSW, the 107 MW West Wyalong Solar Farm and the 214 MW Woolooga Solar Farm in Queensland.
More projects in their early stages include the 520 MW Goulburn River Solar Farm, the 840 MW Sandy Creek Solar Farm, both in NSW, and Victoria’s 364 MW West Mokoan Solar Farm, the 50 MW Mokoan Solar Farm, and the 90 MW Wanghnu Solar Farm.
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