GBM Gold, an Australian gold mining company has recently announced its plans of establishing a 60-megawatt solar farm on old evaporation ponds used for underground mining near Bendigo in central Victoria.
As reported by Renew Economy, the company made public that the solar farm was designed for 174 hectares of the Woodvale Evaporation Pond Complex – a series of “redundant” evaporation ponds that are a “compelling candidate” for a solar plant. One part of the project is also planned to be “floating solar.”
The report also mentioned, “The ponds, about 10km north of Bendigo, were used to evaporate groundwater historically pumped from underground gold mining activities and had been marked for a return to agriculture.”
In a statement, the company affirms it has a better idea. It stated, “This is ideal re-use of a redundant facility as the ponds enjoy excellent sun exposure, are not readily visible to adjacent residences and are located close to where the power is needed.”
“The construction of a Solar Power Plant, as an alternative to returning the site to agricultural use, can be implemented in a short timeframe giving immediate benefit to the entire Bendigo region.,” it added.
It further said that the City of Greater of Bendigo is aiming for a 100 percent renewable energy generation from local and regional sources. The Woodvale Solar project is considered a valuable and important step in accomplishing that goal.
GBM Gold is planning of conducting further community consultations, but it was already informed by Powercor, a local network operator, that the Woodvale Solar Power Plant could be integrated to the present 66kV sub-transmission loop in Bendigo at the Eaglehawk Zone Substation.
CEO John Morrison expressed that the project would possibly be built over the next couple of years but the company would likely push for a joint venture to move the project forward to construction and commissioning.
GBM further stated, “The work required to prepare the complex for the development of a solar farm is less than that required to return it to agriculture. The ponds are designed to maximise the amount of sunlight impinging on them with only screening around the property.”
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