Spark Renewables

Mallee Wind Farm Scoping Report submitted

Mallee Wind Farm Scoping Report submitted

16 January 2023

Spark Renewables has reached a significant milestone for the proposed 1-gigawatt Mallee Wind Farm development, our second project in the formally declared NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone, sitting at the opposite end of the Dinawan Energy Hub project.

The project is proposed to be within the formally declared NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). Sitting at the opposite end of the REZ to the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub (also being developed by Spark Renewables), Mallee Wind Farm would provide a unique opportunity to significantly strengthen and secure the transmission network within the REZ by leveraging the battery storage capabilities of each project.

The proposed Mallee Wind Farm project is located west of the NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone

Spark Renewables has commissioned consultants to undertake a series of preliminary environmental assessments and prepare a Scoping Report for the wind farm. The Scoping Report outlines the proposed project in more detail and identifies important issues that will require further assessment, consultation or technical studies.

The Scoping Report was submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and is available via the following link: Mallee Wind Farm Scoping Report.

Next, the DPE will issue its requirements, known as Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs), within 28 days of receiving the Scoping Report. The SEARs will need to be addressed in a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will be prepared over this year.

The community will be consulted further during the EIS preparation and have the opportunity to make a formal submission when the EIS goes on public exhibition. Part of the EIS will be a Social Impact Assessment, a survey in which all community and stakeholders are invited to participate to provide feedback about their concerns and perspectives about the project. The Mallee Wind Farm Social Impact Assessment survey is available here.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting, please contact us at info@malleewindfarm.com or leave a message at 1300 271 419.

Dinawan Energy Hub project Scoping Reports submitted

Dinawan Energy Hub project Scoping Reports submitted

16 November 2022

The Dinawan Energy Hub is a proposed hybrid wind, solar and battery storage project located about halfway between Coleambally and Jerilderie, on the land of the traditional owners of the Wiradjuri people and several smaller nations of the Murrumbidgee plains.

The Energy Hub is proposed to be within the NSW South-West Renewable Energy Zone and is developed by Spark Renewables, a leading developer and long-term owner of renewable energy projects. 

Spark Renewables has commissioned consultants to undertake a series of preliminary environmental assessments and prepare two Scoping Reports: one for the proposed wind farm and one for the solar farm. The Scoping Reports outline the proposed project in more detail and identify important issues that will require further assessment, consultation or technical studies.

 The Scoping Reports were submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and are available vial the following links:

Next, the DPE will issue its requirements, known as Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs), within 28 days of receiving the Scoping Reports. The SEARs will need to be addressed in a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for each project that will be prepared over the coming year.

The community will be consulted further during the EIS preparation and have the opportunity to make a formal submission when the EIS goes on public exhibition.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting, please contact us at info@dinawanenegyhub.com or leave a message at 1300 271 419.

Project overview

  • Generation capacity of 1,500 MW (wind farm) and 1,000 MW (solar farm).
  • ‘On demand’ battery energy with a capacity of 300 MW.
  • Powering up to 1 million homes.
  • Equivalent to offsetting ~6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually or planting 160,000 eucalyptus trees each year.
  • Jobs and training: ~1,000 construction jobs and 50-100 operations and maintenance jobs.

Read the latest community newsletter here.

Investigation area of the Dinawan Wind Farm and Dinawan Solar Farm

Spark Renewables announces proposed Mallee Wind Farm and launches community consultation

Spark Renewables announces proposed Mallee Wind Farm and launches community consultation

11 August 2022

Leading renewable energy developer and operator, Spark Renewables, has announced plans to develop the Mallee Wind Farm in the South-West Renewable Energy Zone of New South Wales.

The proposed wind farm would be located approximately 16 kilometres to the north-east of Buronga in Wentworth Shire and would have a generation capacity of up to 1 gigawatt (GW), providing enough renewable electricity to power 450,000 Australian homes on average, over the course of a year*.

The proposed wind farm, which would also feature a containerised battery energy storage system, would offset up to 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually**. The project would connect to the National Electricity Market via transmission infrastructure upgraded as part of Project EnergyConnect.

The project will be classified a State Significant Development and will undergo a rigorous planning and assessment process, with comprehensive stakeholder and community consultation required as part of this process.

The first community drop-in session will be held from 3pm-6pm on Tuesday, 23 August 2022 at the Midway Centre, 6 Midway Drive, Buronga. Community members will be able to talk to the Spark Renewables team to learn more about the project and provide initial feedback.

Anthony Marriner, Head of Spark Renewables, said: “We are excited to announce the Mallee Wind Farm project, which is expected to bring significant benefits to the local community and region in the form of jobs and investment, as well as funding for local community initiatives through a community fund that would be established for the life of the project.

“The proposed site for the Mallee Wind Farm has been chosen as it has a number of highly favourable factors, including a strong wind resource, good location within the South-West Renewable Energy Zone in New South Wales, and the very low density of housing within 10 kilometres,” said Marriner.

“Additionally, the proposed site features a flat terrain, meaning that complex earthworks would be avoided during construction, and the site can continue to be used for grazing and cropping purposes, with turbines taking up less than two percent of the proposed project site.” 

“Spark Renewables is committed to supporting the local communities we become a part of. Our track record of engaging authentically with, and delivering strong benefits to, the local community whilst minimising disruption, is important to us. This includes our commitment to engaging with First Nations community members and businesses throughout the project consultation, construction and operation phases. To help us keep delivering on these commitments, we strongly encourage local community members to participate in community consultation where they can, and to ask questions and provide feedback to our team,” said Marriner.

For more information, read the Mallee Wind Farm project community newsletter here. The Spark Renewables team can also be reached on 1300 271 419.

*based on household consumption of 6,700 kWh/year
**based on National Greenhouse Account Factors (DCCEEW, 2021)

ENDS

Contact:

Julian Kasby
M: 0411 638 651
E:  julian.kasby@stage.sparkrenewables.com  

Download the full media release here.

Spark Renewables Participates in PV Industries’ Circular Solar Trial

Spark Renewables Participates in PV Industries’ Circular Solar Trial

20 April 2022

A project funded by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority

Spark Renewables is proud to announce its participation in the Circular Solar Trial, conducted by a leading solar panel recycling and resource recovery company in Australia, PV Industries.

The project brings together a collaborative and industry-led approach to develop solar panel recycling and end-of-life solutions for the solar and lithium-ion battery economies.

This project has been funded under the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Circular Solar grants program. The EPA is supporting this project through its Circular Solar Grants Program with funding of $997,969.

Circular Solar Trial project outcomes

  • Develop a novel solar panel recycling process for use in NSW by PV Industries.
  • Establish a metro and regional collection and logistics network in partnership with local government and Greentech Sydney.
  • Activate end-markets for recovered solar panel glass in partnership with University of New South Wales’ School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and John Holland.
  • Enable future opportunities for solar panel reuse, in partnership with UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.
  • Improved procedures for safe handling and transport of lithium-ion batteries, in partnership with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
  • Assessment of the solar industry to identify solar panel recycling market challenges and opportunities, in partnership with University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, NSW Circular, Maoneng and Spark Renewables.

The project, which commenced in early 2021, will improve safe handling and transport procedures, establish a collection and logistics network for urban and regional NSW, optimise solar panel recycling and processing techniques, develop new end-markets for recovered materials and enable future market opportunities for reuse.

Spark Renewables: Knowledge is power

Spark Renewables is excited to partner with PV Industries in its project to develop a resource recovery and recycling solution.

“There is a sense of rising community concern over what happens with solar modules after they are no longer useable on-site, and we are deeply committed to finding sustainable end-of-life solutions for these modules,” said Anthony Marriner, Head of Spark Renewables.

“Through its partnership with PV Industries, Spark Renewables will provide data from the Bomen Solar Farm to the UTS and will allow UNSW to use Bomen Solar Farm as a testing ground for its Solar Panel Triage Unit technology,” explained Mr Marriner.

“We look forward to the industry and the broader community reaping the benefits of this project, and ones like it, by increasing diversion of solar panel waste from landfill, stimulating economic activity, and promoting a safe and sustainable circular solar economy in NSW.”

“The EPA’s Circular Solar Grants program is directly focused on finding solutions to the emerging solar panel waste stream,” said Kristie Brown, Director of Circular Economy Programs, NSW EPA.

“It’s a program that supports the type of trials proposed by PV Industries – collaborative ‘whole of supply chain’ projects that provide innovative solutions to manage end-of-life solar panels and battery systems. It’s all part of building the circular economy of the future in NSW.”

Read the full media release by PV Industries and NSW EPA.

This program was made possible thanks to funding from the NSW EPA’s Circular Solar grants program.

ENDS

Contact:
Will Stone, Head of Development
M: +61 468 745 736
E:  will.stone@stage.sparkrenewables.com

About Spark Renewables

Spark Renewables is a leading developer and long-term owner and operator of renewable energy generation assets. Our operational portfolio comprises the 100MW Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga which commenced operations in 2020. Our development portfolio includes wind, solar and storage projects in the National Electricity Market.

Spark Renewables is owned by the Spark Infrastructure Group – an owner of leading essential energy infrastructure, including generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure across Australia.

Spark Renewables is a member of the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and a signatory to the CEC’s Best Practice Charter for Renewable Energy Developments.

About PV Industries

PV Industries is leading solar panel recycling and resource recovery in Australia. They have facilities in Sydney and Melbourne while they continue to expand their collection and logistics network. They offer services for collection, logistics, recycling and resource recovery of solar panels and associated solar equipment. PV Industries is a member of the Australian Photovoltaic Institute. For more information on PV Industries: www.pvindustries.com.au

About NSW EPA The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the primary environmental regulator for New South Wales. They partner with business, government and the community to reduce pollution and waste, protect human health, and prevent degradation of the environment. For more information, visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au

Download Media Release: Spark Renewables Participates in PV Industries’ Circular Solar Trial

Community consultation commences for the proposed Mates Gully Solar Farm

Community consultation commences for the proposed Mates Gully Solar Farm

7 February 2022

Spark Renewables has commenced community consultation for the proposed Mates Gully Solar Farm by opening registration for two online forums to be conducted via Zoom on Tuesday, 22 February 2022.

The proposed project is a solar farm with a generation capacity of up to 160 megawatts and battery energy storage system that could output 100 megawatts over four hours.

The electricity generated by the solar farm would provide enough reliable, clean electricity to power approximately 90,000 NSW homes, while offsetting the emission of more than 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The site location is approximately 30km east of Wagga Wagga, between Borambola and Tarcutta in the Wagga Wagga City Council Local Government Area of New South Wales. The project location is particularly attractive for its strong solar irradiance and access to the electricity grid through existing 132 kV lines that cross the proposed site.

The project is in the early stages of development and must undergo a rigorous planning and assessment process. All interested neighbours and community members are invited to ask questions and provide feedback before a Scoping Report is lodged with the planning authorities.

Stakeholders will have further opportunities to provide feedback throughout the planning process, including when the Environmental Impact Statement goes on public exhibition.

Long-term, distributed benefits for hosting the Mates Gully Solar Farm would be offered to the community in accordance with the level of impact on residents.

Anthony Marriner, Head of Spark Renewables, said: “We are looking at offering three different options of benefit-sharing that are each determined by how closely neighbours are impacted by the solar farm; however, we are open to suggestions that better appeal to the community.”

People can register for either one of the two virtual community meetings by going to the project website: www.matesgullysolarfarm.com. For those who are not able to attend, more information is available on the project website, including the Mates Gully Solar Farm project newsletter.

The Spark Renewables team can also be reached on 1300 271 419.

ENDS

Contact:
Will Stone, Head of Development
M: +61 468 745 736
E: will.stone@sparkrenewables.com

Download media release: Community consultation commences for the proposed Mates Gully Solar Farm.

Mates Gully Solar Farm Community Newsletter #1

Mates Gully Solar Farm Community Newsletter #1

1 February 2022

The proposal: Mates Gully Solar Farm

The Mates Gully Solar Farm is a proposed solar farm development to be located approximately 30 km east of Wagga Wagga, between Borambola and Tarcutta (Wagga Wagga City Council Local Government Area). The solar farm is being developed by Spark Renewables, a leading developer and long term owner and operator of renewable energy projects.

What is proposed?

The proposed solar farm would consist of photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted onto single axis trackers that slowly rotate and follow the sun each day.

The proposal includes a containerised battery energy storage system, which will provide ‘on demand’ generation or ‘firming’ to the electricity grid.
The battery system would store electricity from the solar panels when the sun is at its peak, and then distribute this energy into to the electricity grid at other times of the day.

Launch of community consultation

The project is in early stages of development and must undergo a rigorous planning and assessment process. We will undertake extensive community consultation prior to formal development application to planning authorities, and invite all stakeholders and community members to get involved and voice their questions or concerns.

Virtual community meetings Due to the challenges of COVID-19, we understand it is not always safe or comfortable for everyone to join in-person community meetings. We would like to invite you to either a lunch-time or after-work virtual community meeting via Zoom. The format will be in a presentation followed by an open Q&A forum. The meetings will take place on:

  • Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 12.30-1.45pm
  • Tuesday, 22 February 2022, 6-7.15pm

Register here:

Read in full: Mates Gully Solar Farm Community Newsletter #1, February 2022.

Dinawan Energy Hub Initial Community Consultation Summary

Summary of Drop-in Sessions

11 January 2022

The first community consultation sessions for the Dinawan Energy Hub were held at the townships of Coleambally on the 7 December, and Jerilderie on the 8 December 2021. Community members could drop in to engage with the Spark Renewables development team, read posters and FAQs about the proposed project, and provide feedback on the proposal via a survey.

The consultation sessions were advertised via local radio stations, newspapers, and mailbox letter drops. Around 30 individuals attended the sessions, including local residents, representatives of farming businesses and local organisations, as well as council staff.

Overall, feedback on the project was generally positive, with interest in the project size, technology, and mitigation of impacts. In terms of concerns, people wanted to understand how Spark Renewables would manage bushfire risk, impacts to native flora and fauna, and biodiversity. There were questions around the availability of workers during peak farming seasons, and plans for decommissioning and rehabilitation.

During the consultation, suggestions were made on potential community benefits, including improving telecommunications to enhance emergency communications, access to an electricity benefit sharing scheme, and a community fund that would provide funding for community projects over the life of the project.

Materials displayed at the consultation session are available here:

Community Values Questionnaire

Community members that attended the drop-in sessions were encouraged to fill out a survey to evaluate community values around the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub. There were 13 completed responses to the survey. While the sample size is relatively small, it provides insight into some of the priorities of local residents.

Survey responses indicated that the three most beneficial outcomes of the Dinawan Energy Hub would be: investment in the local community (69% of respondents or 9 people), road upgrades (62% or 8 respondents), and clean energy (54% or 7 respondents). One respondent (8%) considered increased tourism and another considered partnerships with Local Aboriginal Land Councils a beneficial outcome.

What aspects about the proposed project would you consider to be most beneficial?

Over half of the respondents (54% or 7 respondents) considered bushfire risk management as the most important concern relating to the project, with just under half of the respondents (46% or 6 respondents) also considering flora and fauna an important issue. Less than 1 in 4 people (23% or 3 respondents) would be concerned with the visual aspect, traffic and road safety, or land use impacts. 2 people (or 15% of respondents) considered noise an important concern and 2 people had no concerns about the project.

What aspects of the proposed project would you consider to be your main concerns?

Of all listed aspects, farming was considered most important by respondents (38% or 5 people), followed by landscape and native flora and fauna (23% or 3 respondents). One respondent considered community or family a valuable aspect in the area, and another respondent considered that to be work opportunities (8%). There were no responses for local history or cultural heritage.

What aspects do you value most in the area?

The survey will remain open and we will continue to collect feedback from the local community and stakeholders as development of the Dinawan Energy Hub proceeds. The survey can be accessed via this link.

Community consultation commences for the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub

Community consultation commences for the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub

21 October 2021

Spark Renewables has commenced community consultation for the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub – a hybrid wind, solar and battery storage project with a generation capacity of up to 2.5 gigawatts.

The project would be located on grazing country about halfway between Coleambally and Jerilderie and would connect to the recently committed Project EnergyConnect interconnector which will pass through the area.

The combined output from the solar and wind farms, coupled with battery storage, would generate enough reliable, clean electricity to power more than one million Australian homes. The project would help mitigate the impact of coal fired power station closures in New South Wales, while offsetting the emission of more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Spark Renewables has organised informal drop-in sessions at the Coly Club on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 and at the Jerilderie Council Hall on Wednesday, 8 December 2021. Both sessions will run from 2pm to 7pm and community members can drop in at any time to meet the team and discuss the project.

Anthony Marriner, Head of Spark Renewables, said: “We have now commenced the development process and are keen to meet the local community. Local knowledge on land-use, community needs and regional priorities provides valuable information that can be incorporated into the project.”

“The project will undergo a rigorous planning and assessment process. If approved, we would look to start construction of the first stage in 2024, with first operations to commence in 2025.”

“The construction and operation of the Dinawan Energy Hub would create more than a thousand jobs and provide economic stimulus to the local businesses and community organisations.”

For those who can’t attend the drop-in sessions, more information can be found on the project website www.dinawanenergyhub.com, including the first project newsletter. The Spark Renewables team can also be reached on 1300 271 419.

ENDS

Download media release: Community consultation commences for the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub

Dinawan Energy Hub – Newsletter #1

Dinawan Energy Hub – Newsletter #1

30 OCTOBER 2021

This is the first community newsletter of the Dinawan Energy Hub (DEH) – a hybrid wind, solar and battery storage project planned for an area about halfway between Coleambally and Jerilderie on the land of the traditional owners of the Murrumbidgee plains.

What is proposed?

The solar farm would consist of photovoltaic (PV) modules mounted on single axis trackers that slowly rotate and follow the sun from east to west each day. The wind farm would consist of wind turbine generators, typically spaced about 500-1,000m apart and connected via underground cables and all-weather roads.

Once constructed, sheep would continue to graze on both the solar and wind farm land. Spark Renewables has successfully implemented this at Bomen Solar Farm north of Wagga Wagga. A containerised battery energy storage system would be built with the solar farm, enabling electricity to be exported when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

Drop-in sessions

Our face-to-face open drop-in sessions will be held in the following locations from 2pm-7pm:

  • TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER: COLEAMBALLY BOWLING CLUB AUDITORIUM
  • WEDNESDAY, 8 DECEMBER: JERILDERIE COUNCIL HALL (IAN GILBERT ROOM)

You are welcome to drop in at any time to meet the Spark Renewables team, ask questions and obtain information about the DEH.
If you are unable to make these drop-in sessions, contact us at info@dinawanenergyhub.com or 1300 271 419 to have a chat or organise another time to meet.

Read the full newsletter: Dinawan Energy Hub Newsletter #1, October 2021.

Spark Renewables announces proposal to develop a renewable energy hub of up to 2.5GW in South-West NSW

Spark Renewables announces proposal to develop a renewable energy hub of up to 2.5GW in South-West NSW

15 July 2021

Spark Renewables, part of the ASX-100 Spark Infrastructure Group, is pleased to announce plans to develop a renewable energy generation and storage hub for up to 2.5GW in South-West NSW. Following the successful development and construction of its Bomen Solar Farm in NSW in 2020, Spark Renewables is proposing to develop, construct, own and operate the Dinawan Energy Hub – a hybrid wind, solar and battery storage project to be situated in the heart of the South-West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in NSW.

The proposed Dinawan Energy Hub forms part of Spark Renewables’ existing development portfolio and forms part of Spark Infrastructure’s Value Build strategic vision to build a sustainable energy future. The proposed Dinawan Energy Hub would be located in the Murrumbidgee Council area about halfway between Coleambally and Jerilderie in the south-west of NSW. It is on the route of the recently committed Project EnergyConnect interconnector which will run between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in NSW.

It is strategically positioned relative to the proposed HumeLink and VNI West (KerangLink) interconnectors. If positively evaluated, the proposed Dinawan Energy Hub is expected to be developed in stages, and once fully complete could provide up to 2.5GW of renewable generation capacity. This is enough electricity to power more than one million Australian homes per year and offset the emission of more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Head of Spark Renewables Anthony Marriner said “Dinawan Energy Hub is an exciting new project that can accelerate the development of new generation in the South-West REZ, through the establishment of this large, corner-stone project. This will unlock significant renewable generation capacity consisting of wind, solar and battery energy storage across South-West NSW in the coming years, providing resource diversity to renewable generation planned in the other REZs.”

“The proposed major new project, Dinawan Energy Hub, has the potential to open up the South-West Renewable Energy Zone, provide diversity to the generation planned in the other REZs and support high-voltage transmission links to Sydney. The clean renewable power from this new project will significantly offset the impact of coal fired power station closures in New South Wales”.

“There is an important role for the NSW Government to play in supporting this project, which is consistent with their Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap and ambitions for renewable energy zones to be progressed in the State,” he said.

The proposed project is in the early stages of planning with work to commence on preliminary studies and consultation in the coming months. Once approved, it is anticipated that construction of stage 1 would begin in 2024 with the first operations to commence in 2025. Mr Marriner said Spark Renewables was committed to engaging with the community and other stakeholders throughout the planning and assessment process.

“The project must undergo a rigorous planning and assessment process which includes preliminary and detailed environmental studies and extensive community consultation,” he said.

“We are only at the start of the development process and are committed to working with the community and other stakeholders to identify the possible environmental, economic and social impacts and opportunities of what we’re proposing and any required mitigation measures.” For more information on Dinawan Energy Hub, head to www.dinawanenergyhub.com, or email info@dinawanenergyhub.com.

ENDS

For interviews, please contact: Anthony Marriner,
Head of Spark Renewables
M: +61 431 009 818
E: anthony.marriner@sparkrenewables.com

View the full media release: Dinawan Energy Hub proposed in the NSW Renewable Energy Zone