ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Bomen Solar farm is a 100 megawatt (MW) operating solar farm located on Wiradjuri land, in the Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct, ~10 km north-east of the Wagga Wagga city centre.
Operating since 2020 it produces enough clean, reliable energy to power ~36,000 Australian homes each year. It supports our power purchase partner Westpac to achieve its clean energy goals and, through our partnership with Westpac, we operate one of the largest solar farm community benefit funds in Australia.
Wagga Wagga, NSW
The traditional lands of the Wiradjuri people
100 MWac (120 MWdc)
OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY
Westpac partnership: the $1 million Bomen Solar Farm Community Fund
Spark Renewables proudly supports the communities where our projects are developed. Our focus is to create lasting, positive change that supports the needs of each community.
Bomen Solar Farm provides power to Westpac under a 10-year power purchase agreement. The electricity generated by Bomen Solar Farm will enable Westpac to achieve 45% of its commitment to transition to 100% renewables by 2025. The power purchase agreement underpins the $1 million Bomen Solar Farm Community Fund and solar farm multi-use initiatives, such as beekeeping and sheep grazing on the solar farm.
Mt Austin High School
$500,000 from the Bomen Solar Farm Community Fund goes towards supporting two programs for ten years at Mt Austin High School, assisting young people to reach their potential within and beyond school.
Wagga Wagga and Eunony Valley greening
$350,000 from the Bomen Solar Farm Community Fund is supporting the greening of Wagga Wagga and Eunony Valley. The funding will support the revegetation of 58 hectares of local land with around 51,000 plants and biodiversity enhancing projects on the properties of landowners in Eunony Valley.
Eunony Bushfire Brigade
$50,000 from the Bomen Solar Farm Community Fund goes towards supporting the Eunony Bushfire Brigade to ensure they can keep supporting the community effectively.
Abbeyfield Kooringal rooftop solar
$10,000 grant funded the installation of solar panels at Abbeyfield’s Kooringal facility to provide cost of living support for those living with a disability.
"Agri-solar" farming initiatives at Bomen Solar Farm
In a solar farm first, Spark Renewables is proud to support local Wagga Wagga beekeepers Queen & Honey to install five beehives along the Bomen Solar Farm boundary.
The initiative is a part of Spark Renewables' ongoing commitment to finding innovative solutions for co-existence between renewable energy assets and agricultural land and activities, ensuring maximum productivity of agricultural land alongside renewable projects.
Visitors to Bomen Solar Farm and the Spark Renewables office are often lucky enough to receive a jar of delicious "solar honey" for themselves, if they can convince the Spark Renewables team to part with it!
Spark Renewables is sponsoring a study with Charles Sturt University into sheep-grazing on the solar farm to identify systems for maximising productivity from grazing on Bomen Solar Farm, the results of which will contribute to the success of agrisolar practices on other solar farms.
An existing sheep grazing agrisolar initiative has been running at the Bomen Solar Farm since 2021, whereby two local farmers run their sheep onsite at the solar farm.
Initially a trial, in 2022 agreements were renewed to continue to graze the sheep, increasing the number of sheep brought to the site. Now, over 300 Merino Wethers and dry ewes graze on the solar farm, with the plan for this to be extended.
"Women in Solar" program
We support efforts to combat traditional barriers to roles in the industry for those typically underrepresented.
During the construction of our Bomen Solar Farm, Beon Energy Solutions, a fellow Spark Infrastructure Group company and Bomen Solar Farm’s EPC Contractor, partnered with Chandler Macleod to implement the "Women in Solar" program to encourage women to work in the construction of large-scale solar farms.
As a part of this program, 12 local women from a range of diverse backgrounds undertook a four-week electrical training course, finishing the program qualified to install solar panels.
The program targeted those facing known barriers to employment including lack of formal education, or sole child-caring responsibilities. The majority of participants continue to work for the company or in the wider solar industry and Beon is continuing its community employment program.