Solar farming for Local Councils

Friday, 2 February 2018
VLGA Discuss

Article by Demian Natakhan, Director at Enhar Pty Ltd

Repurposing low-value land into solar farms is an increasingly active area where local government has a key role to play.

How can this trend be harnessed to deliver carbon reduction and energy bill savings for local councils?

Enhar is providing consulting services to a number of local councils in Victoria to answer this exact question. Establishing solar farms within their municipality from which councils can purchase power, is part of taking the next step after ‘maxing out’ rooftop solar on council buildings.

For councils who do not have a large land ownership to host solar farms on, coordinated initiatives are also underway establishing corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs). Under these arrangements, groups of councils will purchase generation from large-scale solar and wind farms. These generators are generally at a much larger scale and constructed outside the municipalities of the councils procuring the power, so do not necessarily lead to local renewable generation being established.