First solar farm in community renewable energy project joins the grid Down Under

THE first commercial solar farm in a project aiming to provide options for Australia’s struggling vignerons has gone live.

The 187kw site in the South Australian town of Renmark was switched on to the electricity grid on September 26.

It is the first of three similar-sized sites expected to be up and running before the end of the year.

Renmark–based Yates Electrical Services began its Red Mud project this year and has been running a 180kw test site since February.

Since then, 80 potential sites have been assessed with 25 of them being deemed “rating one” because of their size, location, current use, zoning and electricity network connections are ideal.

The project aims to work with landowners to set up 100kw-200kw community-owned solar farms and sell the energy to Australia’s National Electricity Grid through the volatile wholesale spot market.

Managing Director Mark Yates said under the Red Mud project, landowners could lease their land to be used for a solar farm, lease the land and buy into a portion of the farm or choose to own the entire solar farm outright…
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